Important changes to eCommerce regulations that you need to know about

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From Friday 13th June, changes made by the UK government to eCommerce regulations will come into effect. Distance selling regulations are being superseded by the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 and this could have a bearing on your eCommerce business.

Here are the main points to look out for:

  • Cancellations – A consumer now has the right to cancel an order from the moment it is placed until 14 days after it has been delivered. There are some exceptions, but this rule will apply in most cases.
  • Cancellation charges – If a charge applies when a customer cancels an order (e.g. restocking fee), this should be made clear at the point of purchase.
  • Despatch – Goods should be despatched within the period you have specified at the checkout or ‘without undue delay’. Generally, this will be no more than 30 days.
  • Condition – The condition of any item is your responsibility up until the point when it is delivered to the customer or to a nominated alternative, such as a neighbour. In the latter case, your T&Cs should be amended so that the customer is aware of this.
  • Costs – Every additional cost associated with the purchase – such as VAT, delivery and packaging – should be made clear at the checkout.
  • Pre-ticked boxes – If an option adds a cost to the order, that box should not be pre-ticked or require the customer to untick it. Instead, the customer should express a desire to opt in by ticking the box themselves. For example, if an extended warranty is offered it should not be pre-selected.
  • Digital content – The consumer has to expressly waive their cancellation rights in order to gain immediate access to digital content. This should be made clear to users. If they fail to do this, then they should wait until 14 days after the order has been placed before being allowed access to download it.


The purpose of these changes to regulations is to reduce any ambiguity and ensure that your customers have a positive buying experience. We would encourage all eCommerce traders to check out the full set of regulations. If you’d like further help and advice on implementing the new changes or how to introduce them into your existing Magento platform, don’t hesitate to contact iWeb.

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