Machins Solicitors LLP
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Factsheet: Your Rights when it comes to Door to Door Sales

Posted: 22nd March 2012   In: Dispute Resolution

What protection is offered to Consumers at Home?

The Cancellation of Contracts made in a Consumer’s Home or Place of Work etc Regulations 2008 came into force in October 2008. The Regulations allow a mandatory cooling off period of 7 days within which the consumer may choose to cancel the sale. The contract itself must contain a clear explanation as to your cancellation rights.

What about emergency situations for example Car Hire?

The Court recently held that where a replacement hire car was provided to an accident victim, the contract is truly binding when the vehicle is delivered to the consumer’s home and thus the contract falls within the Regulations. In the case of Chen Wei v Cambridge Power & Light Ltd (2010) the Court rejected the argument that delivery of the car was merely a subsequent part of the performance of the contract which had already been agreed over the internet. In this instance the contract in question failed to highlight the cooling off period within the contract and as such was unenforceable.

Is the Contract Void for failure to highlight the cancellation period?

Section 7(6) of the Regulations states that “a contract to which these regulations apply shall not be enforceable against the consumer unless the trader has given the consumer a notice of the right to cancel and the information required in accordance with this regulation”.

The words “shall not” renders the contract void and thus unenforceable by either party.

For Businesses:

It is essential to take steps to ensure your contracts meet the necessary legislative requirements as falling fowl of these Regulations or indeed others that may apply (for example Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 ) will mean that you are unable to enforce the contract.
Machins can review your contracts and provide tailored advice to ensure that your contracts are compliant.

For Individuals:

If you believe you have been unfairly treated in light of the Regulations contact Machins as, depending on the contract wording, you may not be bound by it.

For further information please contact:

Deborah Rupping | Solicitor
Civil Litigation Department
Direct Line: 01582 514 392