From Friday 13th June 2014, a number of changes are being introduced to legislation across Europe to help strengthen your rights as a customer. If you purchase goods from web based outlets, over the telephone or order a product from a shopping television channel, including via interactive services (i.e. red button, or mobile application) the following information is relevant to you...

According to GOV.UK, changes being introduced on 13th June include:

  • Ensuring that consumers get clear information before they buy: this also applies to ‘distance selling’ – selling over the phone or the internet

  • Making sure that consumers don't have to pay excessive fees (such as excessive credit card fees) when paying a seller

  • If you buy a product away from a traders place of business - over the internet, or in your own home for example - you get the right to an increased ‘cooling off period’ of 14 days after buying

  • Companies won't be allowed to have excessive phone charges when you ring a seller about an existing contract (and that also includes after sales queries)...

Where a trader operates a telephone line for the purpose of consumers contacting the trader by telephone in relation to contracts entered into with the trader, a consumer contacting the trader must not be bound to pay more than the basic rate. If in those circumstances a consumer who contacts a trader in relation to a contract is bound to pay more than the basic rate, the contract is to be treated as providing for the trader to pay to the consumer any amount by which the charge paid by the consumer for the call is more than the basic rate.

  • And companies need to make certain that no additional payments are taken or demanded from a customer unless the consumer expressly agrees to them

This is only a brief summary of the changes which become legally enforceable on 13th June 2014. If you do shop online or buy from shopping television channels, please read and become familiar with the list of the new regulations as these are designed to protect you! Full details are available to download in PDF format at GOV.UK