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Distance selling

When you buy goods, services or digital content without face-to-face contact with a business, this is known as 'distance selling'.

In the UK, consumers have the right to cancel a contract during a 'cooling-off period', when buying goods or services from businesses in this way.

The right to cancel distance selling contracts is set out in the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 (referred to in this law guide as the 'distance selling regulations'). They include sales made:

  • on the internet;
  • over the phone or by fax; and
  • by mail order, including catalogue shopping.

This law guide will cover the following:

Information requirements

Before you buy from a business and enter into a binding contract with them, you must be given certain information in a clear and unambiguous way. See this section to make sure you're receiving the correct information.

Time for delivering goods

Goods must be delivered within 30 days of the day after the contract was made. See this section to find out about your rights if the contract isn't performed the way that is expected.

Cancellation periods

If you want to cancel a distance selling contract, you usually have an unconditional right to do so. But it's only unconditional for a certain period of time. Read this section to learn about cancellation periods.

How to cancel

See this section to find out how you can cancel a distance selling contract.

Exemptions from the distance selling regulations

These regulations don't apply to all distance selling contracts. Read this section to find out what the exceptions are.

What is the law guide

The Desktop Lawyer law guide aims to present the law to you in a comprehensive yet jargon-free and easy-to-read format. Our law guide is constantly kept up to date with changes in business and family law by our team of in house solicitors, and includes information across all the legal jurisdictions in the UK.

Our law guide is free to use. Where we provide documents related to this area of law, or where they may help you with any legal issue in this area, they will be listed to the right of this message.

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