The Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS) is consulting on the implementation of new European Union wide consumer laws to replace distance selling rules and laws for contracts made away from business premises. The Consumer Rights Directive, which must be brought into law in the UK by 13 June 2014, contains longer cooling off periods (14 days instead of seven working days) and additional rules about pre-ticked boxes with additional charges. Consumers will have to actively consent to those additional charges rather than be assumed to agree through pre-checked boxes. Traders will also be prohibited from charging extra for telephone communications following the conclusion of the contract and for charging for payment methods such as credit cards other than the costs actually incurred by the traders.
The consultation will look at whether to provide an exemption for certain specific sectors that already have their own particular legislation, such as financial services, gambling, healthcare, package travel, property and transport.
The consultation is open until 1 November and can be found here: http://www.bis.gov.uk/Consultations/consultation-implementation-consumer-rights-directive?cat=open.