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The Consumer Contracts Regulations: Know Your Rights

By: Abigail Taylor - Updated: 20 Dec 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Consumer Contract Regulations Purchase

The Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 came into effect on 13 June 2014. They are a way of bringing The Consumer Rights Directive into UK law, and for contracts entered into after 13 June 2014, replace the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 and the Cancellation of Contracts made in Consumer's Home or Place of Work etc Regulations 2008.

The Regulations consolidate previous legislation and give greater rights to consumers who buy goods at a distance, away from the vendor's commercial premises, or online. So what are your rights?

Providing information

Vendors must provide potential purchasers with specific information about the product or service they are proposing to purchase. (This does not apply to purchases of medicine, which of course often come with their own specific information about use and potential side effects.)

The specific information that must be provided is determined by whether the sale is conducted face to face or at a distance (such as over the internet). For distance sales, the following information must be provided to a potential purchaser:

  • A full description of the product including the length of commitment to any service
  • The total price of the product
  • The total price of delivery
  • Details of who must pay the cost of returning the product if unsuitable
  • Details of the right to cancel including timescales and the circumstances in which the contract can be cancelled
  • Information about the seller including their postal address and telephone number

In accordance with the regulations, this information must be provided in a 'durable form' such as by email or letter. It is an offence under the regulations for the vendor not to provide this information; this is punishable by a maximum fine of £5,000 upon conviction.

Additional charges

Vendors are unable to charge purchasers for additional mandatory items such as cancellation protection or insurance. These products may be offered, but purchasers must not be forced to purchase these.

Any additional charges must be actively chosen by the purchaser and not added by vendor at check out or due to a pre-ticked box (ie set out in an "opt in" format rather than an "opt out" format).

Delivery of goods

Goods must be delivered by the vendor to the purchaser within any contractually agreed timeframe (for example if you purchase a book online and it says delivery within 3 to 5 days, you should receive the book within that timeframe). Of course sometimes unforeseen delays occur (eg problems with Royal Mail caused by bad weather), so you should allow a vendor a reasonable amount of time to get your product to you.

If no agreement re timeframe for delivery of goods has been agreed, goods should be delivered 'without undue delay' and in any event within 30 days.

Cancelling a purchase of goods

The regulations give purchasers 14 days after receipt in which to cancel a purchase of goods. Purchasers then have a further 14 days after communicating the cancellation to the vendor to return the goods. If information about cancellation procedures is not provided by the vendor, this period could be extended by up to 12 months.

These timescales for cancellation do not apply to the purchase of:- Perishable goods (such as food)- Goods whose value fluctuates according to market conditions and outside the control of the seller- CDs and DVDs if the seal is broken

If you cancel the contract, the vendor must refund the basic cost of delivering the goods to you, in addition to the cost of the goods. The basic delivery cost is the lowest postage cost, and so you may not recover the full postage paid if you paid for premium services such as next day delivery. Any refund should be received within 14 days of returning the goods.

If you receive goods which are faulty, the above provisions do not apply and you will have the same rights as if the goods were bought in a shop (under The Sale of Goods Act 1979). You must still return faulty goods to the vendor within a reasonable amount of time, but you are not bound by the 14 day deadline.

Proving the goods are faulty:

  • If the fault occurs within 6 months of purchase, the vendor must prove that the goods were not faulty when sold
  • If the fault occurs after 6 months of purchase, the onus is on the purchaser to prove that the goods were faulty when purchased (eg by providing an expert's report to that effect)

Cancelling a purchase of services

If you wish to cancel a purchase of services, under the regulations, you have a minimum of 14 days to do so. However check your contract, as many services give you a longer period to consider cancellation.

If you requested that the service starts straight away, you can still cancel, but will have to pay for the value of the service provided up to cancellation.

Unfortunately cancellation will not be possible in some cases, for example in relation to hotel booking or car hire. This should however be clearly communicated prior to purchase.

Going forward

The Consumer Contract Regulations 2013 are designed to clarify existing regulations and provide great protection to those purchasing goods and services at a distance, such as online. As online sales become more and more frequent, and technology develops changing the way in which day to day consumer relations take place, it is likely that further clarification will be needed. However The Consumer Contract Regulations 2013 make a good start in trying to regulate this developing field.

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Two years ago my plumber sourced, supplied and fitted all new radiators in my house. One of them is now leaking and he has diagnosed it is a faulty valve. He told me to contact the supplier and he will fit a new one. The new one should be supplied free of charge as the manufacturer guarantees for 10 years. However, he reckons that I will have to pay for labour costs. How does that work? HE (the plumber) supplied and fitted the rad. Why should I have to pay anything at all for this? I would really appreciate your advice, please. Kind regards.
Dutchie - 20-Dec-17 @ 1:50 PM
Bought 11plate vauxhall insignia 2months ago now brakes are faulty . What rights do I have ...do I have to pay for repair
Jay - 15-Nov-17 @ 9:04 PM
Momo - Your Question:
Hi I bought a table and chairs I noticed at about 12 wks old that a hole was in the chair underneath and the black table base was all white speckles I have spoke to retailer who is going to change it but am I entitled to a refund

Our Response:
At this stage you're entitled to a repair or replacement. See our guide here
ConsumerRightsExpert - 16-Oct-17 @ 10:44 AM
Hi I bought a table and chairs I noticed at about 12 wks old that a hole was in the chair underneath and the black table base was all white speckles I have spoke to retailer who is going to change it but am I entitled to a refund
Momo - 13-Oct-17 @ 7:26 AM
I have recently been into a hairdressers paid alot of money for extensions and then have a cheaper version put in. The stylist ordered the wrong ones and had to use a toner on them when I have realised she has not used the correct extensions she is now saying she is unsure if they will refund them as they have had a toner on. She is saying I have paid more and she took the money off me. I have asked her for a refund of the extension price I paid and for her to have these back. How do I go about this?? Please help
Anon - 26-Aug-17 @ 8:51 AM
None - Your Question:
I recently bought a walk in tub. Faulty installation and a small crack in one of the piped caused water damage to my home. The tub company will not pay for damage unless I allow their contractor's to do repair work. I want to choose my contactor. They're refusing. What can I do?

Our Response:
ConsumerRightsExpert - 22-Jun-17 @ 10:52 AM
I recently bought a walk in tub. Faulty installation and a small crack in one of the piped caused water damage to my home. The tub company will not pay for damage unless I allow their contractor's to do repair work. I want to choose my contactor. They're refusing.What can I do?
None - 19-Jun-17 @ 11:52 PM
I bought my mum a car and in the first week the brakes failed 3 times but the fault is intermittent,had a mechanic take a look and he said pads and calipers were new so it looked like someone had attempted to repair the fault but failed so sold car to the garage where I got it from. Been in touch with garage and was told I had to give him a chance to repair it. It happened with both myself and my mother and it was so frightening that the car hasn't moved from my drive in 3 weeks and neither of us feel that whatever is done to the car we won't trust it to be cured. Informed garage before 30 days after buying it. Can I insist on getting my money back.
Muttie - 26-May-17 @ 2:15 AM
Hi, I purchased invisalign braces from a private dentist. I was quoted 18 months. I am now 5 years in and things are worse than they ever were. I am unable to eat correctly, i have jaw, face and ear pain constantly and my dentist is dismissing everything I have been saying. I have been disgruntled for the last 2 years and things are still no better. Where do I stand on getting a refund?
N - 20-Apr-17 @ 11:41 PM
Ian - Your Question:
I recently asked a local kitchen supplier to measure and price a kitchen for a client. The kitchen was to be paid through my account with the company but I did not know what the customer was wanting. I have just had the kitchen delivered and for the second time there are a number of items missing which are required to complete the job. These items have been missed in there survey and therefore not in there quotation. This is the second time this happened, I complained in the store the last time and was told there was nothing they would or could do so I was left out of pocket. Can you please help with any advice please

Our Response:
This sounds like lack of communication between, you the client and the kitchen company to be honest. Did you check the quotation before ordering? Are you a kitchen designer? Sorry the situation isn't clear from your description.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 4-Oct-16 @ 12:35 PM
I recently asked a local kitchen supplier to measure and price a kitchen for a client. The kitchen was to be paid through my account with the company but I did not know what the customer was wanting. I have just had the kitchen delivered and for the second time there are a number of items missing which are required to complete the job. These items have been missed in there survey and therefore not in there quotation. This is the second time this happened, I complained in the store the last time and was told there was nothing they would or could do so I was left out of pocket. Can you please help with any advice please
Ian - 3-Oct-16 @ 6:31 PM
Hi, I bought from a bathroom supplier mirror cabinet ex display in perfect condition substantively reduced i.e. £350 instead of RRP £2000. 18 months as gone by and unfortunately there is rust on the mirror side panel i.e. from the inside from the bottom, which i believe has developed thru moisture getting in.Nevertheless i contacted the manufacturer without them knowing I bought the item ex display they advised me that its covered by warranty, but to get the supplier to fill the warranty form out.When I contact the retailer they advised me i bought the item sold as seen and is under the impression that the warranty doesn't apply, can you please advise me where I stand on this?
Mary - 26-Aug-16 @ 5:12 PM
Hi, i went online and purchased a set of tyres. They were sent to a fitting centre where i had them changed on the 7th of july. I drove back to work but as i got out of the car, I noticed they fitted the wrong tyres to those I ordered. I called the tyre fitters and told them but they said it was the same and that the manufacturers change the numbers. I was not satisfied with the response, went online to check again and they are different products. I chose the westlake SA37and had westlake SA07 fitted.I chose the SA37 because they had a better handling in the wet. I emailed the tyreshopper/national and was told the matter would be investigated. I got another email basically saying the tyres were out of stock and would take up to 10 weeks to get new stock.
sylvasurfer - 2-Aug-16 @ 9:34 AM
perplexed - Your Question:
At the end of October 2015 we purchased a Compass Rallye 2008 Caravan. We paid cash by bank transfer and was told by the Caravan Dealership that it would be fully serviced and valeted prior to collection in early November. We were charged for the caravan service but found on collection that many of the service checked had never been done. During the following 5 months we identified at least 22 problems with the caravan. Many of them should have been identified and repaired as part of the service cover, and some of them, i.e.unsecured cooker hob and gas supply, unsecured furniture etc were serious safety issues. The list is endless, but following numerous texts, e-mails, phone calls etc, only some of the repairs have been done. The dealership is clearly at fault but we are struggling to find out how to complain and be compensated for work that we have undertaken and paid for ourselves. We struggled to find someone who could advise us, as a caravan isn't 'the norm', and as we didn't pay for it by credit card we had no redress with the bank or credit company. I have now had two long conversations with the Citizens Advice Bureau and followed their advice (e.g. letter of complaint and request for compensation) to the Dealership), but now find they are asking me to give them a second opportunity to make good the faults and complete the outstanding repairs. I should then have it independently checked to ensure they have been done then claim back that amount under the heading of 'financial losses incurred'. The caravan cost us over £8,000 and to-date we have now spent approx. £1,000 on making good the faults which the dealership should have done. I have kept all correspondence with the company and all receipts, etc and feel we have a very strong case. The dealership was negligent and failed to provide us with a product that was fit for purpose and safe to tow. Those failings could have caused serious accident or injury and I no longer trust them to make good any further repairs on our caravan. It seems many of the consumer advice groups err on the side of the retailer, leaving us feeling helpless and badly let down. Has anyone any ideas?? This company should be taken to task for such blatant negligence.

Our Response:
Refer the company to the consumer rights act 2015. You should really have simply rejected the caravan at the time (under 30 days) under the terms of the act. If it is over 30 days but less than 6 months after delivery of the caravan, youcan choose for the retailer to either repair or replace the caravan. The retailer may however refuse one option over the other if they can show that your choice is disproportionately expensive compared to the alternative. Refer to the terms of the act: here. To claim for any costs incurred yourself send copies of the receipts and a demand for the amount you've spent, suggest that you will refer it to the small claims court if it isn't settled within a certain date.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 6-May-16 @ 11:42 AM
At the end of October 2015 we purchased a Compass Rallye 2008 Caravan.We paid cash by bank transfer and was told by the Caravan Dealership that it would be fully serviced and valeted prior to collection in early November. We were charged for the caravan service but found on collection that many of the service checked had never been done.During the following 5 months we identified at least 22 problems with the caravan.Many of them should have been identified and repaired as part of the service cover, and some of them, i.e.unsecured cooker hob and gas supply, unsecured furniture etc were serious safety issues.The list is endless, but following numerous texts, e-mails, phone calls etc, only some of the repairs have been done.The dealership is clearly at fault but we are struggling to find out how to complain and be compensated for work that we have undertaken and paid for ourselves.We struggled to find someone who could advise us, as a caravan isn't 'the norm', and as we didn't pay for it by credit card we had no redress with the bank or credit company.I have now had two long conversations with the Citizens Advice Bureau and followed their advice (e.g. letter of complaint and request for compensation) to the Dealership), but now find they are asking me to give them a secondopportunity to make good the faults and complete the outstanding repairs.I should then have it independently checked to ensure they have been done then claim back that amount under the heading of 'financial losses incurred'.The caravan cost us over £8,000 and to-date we have now spent approx. £1,000 on making good the faults which the dealership should have done.I have kept all correspondence with the company and all receipts, etc and feel we have a very strong case.The dealership was negligent and failed to provide us with a product that was fit for purpose and safe to tow.Those failings could have caused serious accident or injury and I no longer trust them to make good any further repairs on our caravan.It seems many of the consumer advice groups err on the side of the retailer, leaving us feeling helpless and badly let down.Has anyone any ideas??This company should be taken to task for such blatant negligence.
perplexed - 4-May-16 @ 4:06 PM
Irish- Your Question:
We've had our hotpoint washer drier for just 2 years. After just one year the catch on the door broke and hotpoint didn't want to know as it was over a year old. We got local repair shop to replace the catch and we were told it's common for them to go as they are very cheap plastic. So it cost £75 to get knew parts and fitting. Less than a year later catch went again and was replaced. Now months later the drier has a fault and door catch has gone again. I did email hotpoibt to complain but heard nothing back. Have I any rights? We had our last machine for nearly 10 years with no problems yet this machine is costing us a fortune for bad quality yet we have to pay out? Shoulf I be taking it up with the shop we bought it from? Thanks

Our Response:
Firstly, it's difficult to compare older appliances with cheaper modern day ones. Even the White Goods Association admits that average lifespan has dropped in relation to prices and it is not unusual for cheaper appliances to only last a few years. As it's more than six months since you've had the appliance, it's up to you to prove that the problem was there when you received the goods (even if you've only just experienced it). You might also have to prove that the fault was not down to ordinary wear and tear or damage you caused, and that the product (or a component) should have lasted longer than it did. You might have to get an engineer to help you prove this. Your case is with the retailer not the manufacturer.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 31-Mar-16 @ 11:26 AM
We've had our hotpoint washer drier for just 2 years. After just one year the catch on the door broke and hotpoint didn't want to know as it was over a year old. We got local repair shop to replace the catch and we were told it's common for them to go as they are very cheap plastic. So it cost £75 to get knew parts and fitting. Less than a year later catch went again and was replaced. Now months later the drier has a fault and door catch has gone again. I did email hotpoibt to complain but heard nothing back. Have I any rights? We had our last machine for nearly 10 years with no problems yet this machine is costing us a fortune for bad quality yet we have to pay out? Shoulf I be taking it up with the shop we bought it from? Thanks
Irish - 28-Mar-16 @ 8:14 PM
Dopey - Your Question:
I went to hairdresser told them I had bleach on hair they done roots and put a toner on it it went green then they put a toner on it again it is brown and green cost 70 pound they wanted 90 I am so upset it is a mess what can I do

Our Response:
If they willnot fix the problem (for free), you should go to another hairdresser to get it fixed, then reclaim the money from the original hairdresser. Make sure you take photos of the original results so you can prove this if you decide to take it to the small claims court (this is usually a bit of an extreme measure - hopefully they will just give you the refund.)
ConsumerRightsExpert - 22-Mar-16 @ 12:32 PM
I went to hairdresser told them I had bleach on hair they done roots and put a toner on it it went green then they put a toner on it again it is brown and green cost 70 pound they wanted 90 I am so upset it is a mess what can I do
Dopey - 21-Mar-16 @ 8:09 AM
Went in hairdresser had bleach on my hair explained I wantroots done and toner she done it it was a mess green I could not explain it then after I decided it was a messhe told her to put a brown on it no Blount green brown 70 pound mess so fed up
Dopey - 21-Mar-16 @ 7:45 AM
Amanda - Your Question:
I have had a leak in my boiler so got a plumber from yellow pages he decided that I would need a new block and seals cost of which I was told about £70.00. He said he would have to take boiler off the wall to get to the problem so this would take all day and the whole job would cost about £300. As I was desperate and have two children I felt I had no choice but to agree. We arranged for him to come back a few days later when the part arrived he arrived on time but then took him about 30 mns to actual do anything he kept hanging around saying that we would be better off with a new boiler he eventually started after crashing asnd banging around for about an hour and many grunts and loud sighs he appears and says it cannot be fixed and we should get a new one. I tell him that is not an option as I have no money for that he says he will have another go he appears after a couple of hours syaing he had managed to fix the problem and all was okay he did not tell us he had flooded my cubboards under the boiler because he hadn't turned off the water and he had broke the control panel but I stupidly I never said a word to him as I was so stressed by him that I just wanted him goner so I paid the £285 that he requested. The next morning I got up and yes the boiler was leaking again worse than before and now the control panel was telling me that it the panel itself was damaged wonderful. Can anyone tell me what I can do legally or will I just have to put up with my own stupidity for not challenging him at the time?

Our Response:
Really, all you can do is to get another professional in to give you a report on what has been done/not been done and to rectify the problem. You will then have to claim for the repair and any compensation for leakage damage from the original tradesman. In an ideal world he'll have insurance and will pay you, but more realistically you may have to take it to the small claims courts. All gas boiler servicers need to registered with Gas Safe so you might want to make a complaint to them about this particular tradesman.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 19-Feb-16 @ 9:54 AM
I have had a leak in my boiler so got a plumber from yellow pages he decided that I would need a new block and seals cost of which I was told about £70.00.He said he would have to take boiler off the wall to get to the problem so this would take all day and the whole job would cost about £300.As I was desperate and have two children I felt I had no choice but to agree.We arranged for him to come back a few days later when the part arrived he arrived on time but then took him about 30 mns to actual do anything he kept hanging around saying that we would be better off with a new boiler he eventually started after crashing asnd banging around for about an hour and many grunts and loud sighs he appears and says it cannot be fixed and we should get a new one.I tell him that is not an option as I have no money for that he says he will have another go he appears after a couple of hours syaing he had managed to fix the problem and all was okay he did not tell us he had flooded my cubboards under the boiler because he hadn't turned off the water and he had broke the control panel but I stupidly I never said a word to him as I was so stressed by him that I just wanted him goner so I paid the £285 that he requested.The next morning I got up and yes the boiler was leaking again worse than before and now the control panel was telling me that it the panel itself was damaged wonderful.Can anyone tell me what I can do legally or will I just have to put up with my own stupidity for not challenging him at the time?
Amanda - 18-Feb-16 @ 12:39 AM
we got a new bathroom replaced (asked for like for like) and we asked for a shower pipe to be fitted so we can add one in the future. so removal of old bathroom and replace with new was quoted £960 we just got a invoice of £1350 because of a broken pipe under the toilet, we never agree on this work or a price! they also never put in a shower pipe and put in a smaller bath with a shelf at the bottom! Who can we contact about this?
Kerry - 22-Jan-16 @ 5:37 PM
LOZZY - Your Question:
Paid £600 just over a year ago for a kingsize divan from CSL in Chester.When first delivered and I lay on it I clearly heard a couple of springs 'pop',when I rung the store I was told that all new beds do it.(Never owned a new bed so I just believed what they said.i am on the verge of going mental as every movement I make no matter how small sends a chorus of springs throughout the mattress.Chester store since closed down so don't know who to complain to,i've got multiple sclerosis as well as spinal stenosis which was why I paid £600,hoping for a bit of comfort,been anything except.thank

Our Response:
As it's over 12 months since you purchased it, the onus is on you to prove that the bed was faulty/not fit for purpose at the time of purchase. You might need to get an independent expert to help you with this. Write to CSL headquarters, stating that you have already mentioned about the springs and that you do not consider the bed is of satifactory quality or fit for purpose. Ask them offer you a new mattress or a contribution towards one.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 13-Jan-16 @ 11:09 AM
Paid £600 just over a year ago for a kingsize divan from CSL in Chester.When first delivered and i lay on it i clearly heard a couple of springs 'pop',when i rung the store i was told that all new beds do it.(Never owned a new bed so i just believed what they said..i am on the verge of going mental as every movement i make no matter how small sends a chorus of springs throughout the mattress.Chester store since closed down so don't know who to complain to,i've got multiple sclerosis as well as spinal stenosis which was why i paid £600,hoping for a bit of comfort,been anything except.thank
LOZZY - 12-Jan-16 @ 5:33 AM
Gar - Your Question:
Hi I bought a fridge freezer from very the catalogue on a buy now pay later purchase.The delivery guys plugged it in and told us not to switch on to 4 hours later which we did not when looking at the fridge one door was sitting higher than the otherOne bracket on fridge door was cracked handle has a bow in one handle sits higher than other.The door on the freezer is all dented in ,I phoned them I asked for a replacement but they said no that I was not entitled to a replacement I told him that it's faulty told me because I have switch the fridge on.please can you help I had the fridgefreezer less than 24 hours as I ordered on 8 December and it got delivered on the 12th

Our Response:
This doesn't sound like the usual reponse from a reputable company. The item is clearly not fit for purpose and you may have the right to return the product and receive a full refund within 30 days of the date of purchase. See our article on the Consumer Contracts Regulations
ConsumerRightsExpert - 14-Dec-15 @ 12:59 PM
Hi I bought a fridge freezer from very the catalogue on a buy now pay later purchase .The delivery guys plugged it in and told us not to switch on to 4 hours later which we did notwhen looking at the fridge one door was sitting higher than the otherOne bracket on fridge door was cracked handlehas a bow in one handle sits higher than other.The door on the freezer is all dented in ,I phoned them I asked for a replacement but they said no that I was not entitled to a replacement I told him that it's faulty told me because I have switch the fridge on .please can you help I had the fridgefreezer less than 24 hours as I ordered on 8 December and it got delivered on the 12th
Gar - 13-Dec-15 @ 11:36 PM
My tv from bright house was broken it went for repair s and thev lost it they have been fobbing me off for 3 months now they saying they wil give me a second hand one to replace it but I don't want that what else can I do I have paid a lot of money for my tv also insurance with the firm please could you give me advise as what to do thank you ang
Ang - 1-May-15 @ 12:31 AM
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