Some interesting amendments and clarifications including ebay, after hearing the BBC news state the new regulations now meant the retailer had to refund the consumers return postage when they changed their mind when this is total bollox unless the online retailer has not stated 'All returns of unwanted goods under the DSR are returned at the customers expense' (worded correctly to meet regulations) Refunds/Section 15 clears this up. I thought I would post them here as it might help forum members receiving wrong and bad advice as has previously been the case.
Link to full PDF at the bottom
I’m a trader selling goods on ebay. Does the auction exemption apply to me?
7. No. The exemption is for goods sold at a public auction, which is defined as an auction which a consumer can, if they wish, attend in person.
A customer called me because a pipe had broken and flooded the kitchen. I went straight over and repaired the pipe. While I was there I agreed to provide new lagging for the hotwater cylinder which had deteriorated. She called me the next day to cancel. Can she do that?
8. Yes. Although you were there to carry out immediate emergency repairs, any additional work of a non-urgent nature attracts cancellation rights in the same way as any other non-emergency repair. In this situation, before you agree to supply lagging you should tell her of her cancellation rights and provide the cancellation form. She is not obliged to use the form. The phone call would suffice.
There is an exemption for leisure service activities on specific dates. What kind of things does that exempt?
9. This exemption helps protect traders who may set aside specific capacity for a consumer which they may not be easily able to fill or resell should the consumer change their mind. This would include car hire, wedding venues, theatre tickets for specific performances etc. Traders may still of course decide to offer the consumer the ability to cancel should they choose.
I supplied and fitted a dishwasher for a customer under an off-premises contract. A week later she contacted me and told me she no longer wanted the dishwasher, that it had not been used and that she was returning it. Can she do that?
10. Yes she can provided she cancelled within 14 days of delivery of the dishwasher at her home. Although plumbed in, the dishwasher can be removed. She must however pay you the charge agreed for the installation service you provided. This is provided you had her express consent to start the work in the cancellation period and told her she would have to pay. She must also pay for the return of the dishwasher, if you told her she would be liable, in advance and provided you did not deliver the dishwasher to her at the time the contract was entered into. In addition, she will be liable for any diminished value if when the dishwasher is returned it shows signs of use.
I offer will-writing services online. I agreed to start work for a customer who then changed their mind 10 days later. I’d already started on the work. Can they do that?
11. Yes they can. However, provided you obtained their express consent to starting the service in the cancellation period, and informed them that they would have to pay for any work done in that period, you can charge for work done until the point of cancellation
I provide and install garage doors. Can my customer cancel once they’ve ordered and can I recoup any costs if they do?
12. If you agree the contract by phone or online or at the customer’s home, then they will have a right to cancel unless the door has been specifically made to a non-standard specification.
I sell premier league football shirts online. Customers can order a shirt with their own name on it or that of a premier league team player. Can the consumer change their mind after they have ordered?
13. Items made to a particular, often unique specification are exempt from cancellation rights on the basis that a trader might otherwise be left with a product so specific to a particular consumer’s needs that there is no other market for it once the consumer has cancelled the contract. Judgements of what is truly bespoke will, therefore, inevitably be on a case by case basis. In the above case, the customer should be able to cancel a shirt bearing a team player name on it. However, a shirt bearing their own name would be likely to constitute a personalised item to which cancellation rights do not apply.
14. An item made up following a consumer order does not necessarily make it a bespoke item which is exempt from cancellation rights. An item, for example a sofa or computer, can be assembled following an order but the component parts may be made up of parts offered from a standard range. So, for instance, a sofa where the consumer chooses a fabric and colour from a range on offer will not be bespoke for the purposes of these Regulations. However, if the consumer asks the trader to source a special finish and which is not in the range generally offered by the trader, that is likely to be a bespoke item.
15. The trader must refund the consumer within 14 days of receiving the goods back or proof of the return of the goods if that is earlier. That refund should include the cost of outbound delivery (provided the standard delivery option was used), but need not include the cost of the return delivery to the trader unless the trader offered to bear this or did not tell the customer that they would have to. In the case of services refund should be within 14 days of cancellation of the contract.
I sell toys online. A customer recently ordered a large toy model to assemble, to be sent by express delivery, but changed their mind and returned it. Not only was it not returned in the original bubble wrap and brown box I used, but the model’s box with photo and description was torn and the plastic packets containing the plastic bricks inside had been opened. What can I do?
16. You cannot deduct for the bubble wrap and brown box since it would have been reasonable for the customer to remove these to see the item in the way they would in a shop. However, it would not have been necessary to go further and open the box nor especially to open the sealed packets. You will therefore be able to reduce the refund to reflect the diminished value. In addition, you will only need to refund the standard cost of delivery (provided this was offered) and not the full cost of the express delivery chosen by the customer. And provided that you told the customer that the cost of return delivery would fall to them, you need not pay for that.
A customer has changed their mind and returned a toaster bought online. The box is intact but there are crumbs in the toaster. Can I deduct any money from the refund?
17. The consumer should be permitted to inspect the toaster in the same way that they might in a shop to ensure it is as described. Money should not therefore be deducted if it is reasonable for the consumer to remove the packaging to inspect the item. However, using the toaster goes beyond what is needed to ascertain the nature of the toaster, and is not something the consumer would do in a shop. Money can therefore be deducted to reflect diminished value. The consumer need not ‘test’ the toaster since, if the toaster proves to be faulty the consumer has rights under other legislation.
A customer has complained that the dress she received was a blue one rather than the red she ordered. She is returning it for a replacement. It was our mistake but don’t the regulations say she should pay for returns?
18. No. Where goods are faulty, or not of satisfactory quality, or do not meet the description given consumers have additional and different rights, including that the trader must bear the costs of providing a replacement such as delivery costs for return and re-delivery.
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