Cancelling goods and services
The Consumer Contracts Regulations also give you key cancellation rights when you enter into contracts at a distance over the phone, online, from a catalogue or face-to-face with someone who has visited your home, for instance.
These cancellation rights are more generous than if you bought goods or services from a high street shop. For details on your rights when you buy from a high street shop, read our guide to the Consumer Rights Act.
Your right to cancel
- Your right to cancel an order for goods starts the moment you place your order and ends 14 days from the day you receive your goods.
- If your order consists of multiple goods, the 14 day period runs from when you get the last of the batch.
- This 14 day period is the time you have to decide whether to cancel, you then have a further 14 days to actually send the goods back.
Your right to a refund
- You should get a refund within 14 days of either the trader getting the goods back, or you providing evidence of having returned the goods (for example, a proof of postage receipt from the post office), whichever is the sooner.
- If the retailer has offered to collect the goods, it should refund you 14 days from the date you informed it you wanted to cancel the contract. So, this means you don’t have to wait for the retailer to have collected the goods to get your refund.
- A deduction can be made if the value of the goods has been reduced as a result of you handling the goods more than was necessary.
- The extent to which you can handle the goods is the same as it would be if you were assessing them in a shop.
Refunding the cost of delivery
The trader has to refund the basic delivery cost of getting the goods to you in the first place, so if you opted for enhanced service eg guaranteed next day, it only has to refund the basic cost.
There are some circumstances where the Consumer Contracts Regulations won’t give you a right to cancel.
These include, CDs, DVDs or software if you’ve broken the seal on the wrapping, perishable items and tailor-made or personalised items. They also include goods with a seal for health protection and hygiene reasons that’s been broken.
Also included are goods that have been mixed inseparably with other items after delivery.
Always check the terms and conditions
The minimum cancellation period that you must be given is 14 days but many sellers choose to exceed this, so always check the terms and conditions in case you have longer to change your mind.