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Consumer Protection Act

If you sell products or service to consumers from a base in the European Community (EC), then you are obliged to comply with this act.

You cannot prepare legal terms and conditions which contravene this act, or try to impose your own rules.

Most of the terms will be familiar to any normal shop or business trading with a consumer in a traditional outlet. However traders new to the web should be aware of the Distance Selling Regulations introduced in 2000. These require a merchant to offer (and confirm in writing) to accept the return of the goods for any reason with 7 days of receipt.

You can find out more about the Consumer Protection Act and Distance Selling Regulations from the DTI.

To understand more about the subject also review the information published by the Consumers Association (Which). They also run the Which Webtrader scheme to appraise and recommend consumer websites - this may be of particular interest to ecommerce sites.

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