Schedule I of the Regulations gives a list of acceptable distance communication methods, these are letters, telephone calls, facsimiles, digital television, mail order, catalogue shopping, advertisements on the television, radio, in newspapers and e - mails. It is important to note that the customer has the right to cancel the order for goods within seven working days of having received the goods and in respect of services within seven working days from the date of contract. This is known as the cooling off period. The purpose of providing this cooling off period is to provide the consumer with sufficient time to examine and decide about the goods or services ordered and this emulates the more conventional method of shopping.
The Regulations are inapplicable in respect of distance contracts excluded by regulation 5(1), some of these contracts are those relating to the supply of financial services. There is limited applicability, according to regulation 6, with regard to supply of groceries, contracts which aim to provide accommodation, transport, catering and the like.
A comparison of the applicability of t...
Secondly, in cases where these regulations apply, they provide a cooling off period to the consumers so that they can cancel the contract by informing the supplier of the same. The effect of such a notice is that the contract is deemed to have never been made. Thirdly, if the supplier fails to comply with the information requirements, then the cooling off period will be extended by a period of three months. Fourthly, in case the supplier at a later date complies with these requirements, then the cooling off period will commence from this date.
Fifthly, regulation 19 states that contracts have to be performed within a period of thirty days, subject to the specific agreement between the parties. If the supplier is unable to comply with the terms of the contract, then substitution is permitted subject to certain conditions being met. Sixthly, it is prohibited to supply unsolicited goods and services to consumers.
Next, a discussion regarding the contrast in the applicability of these regulations to goods and services will be made. First, regulation 8(3) requires the supplier to inform the consumer before the conclusion of a contract, in respect of services, that the contract cannot be cancelled if the service commences; whereas, in the case of goods supplied, no such condition exists. Secondly, if the supplier intimates the consumer in time, then in respect of services the cooling off period is seven days after the date of the contract. In case of goods this seven day period commences from the day after the date of delivery of goods. Thirdly, contracts involving goods made to the specifications of the consumer are excluded from the right to cancellation, unless agreed upon by the parties. This does not apply to services. Finally, regulation