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The fundamentals of the distance selling legislation

Do you want to start distance selling? You should first know that the customers who buy from your website are protected by special legislation. If you want your online sales activities to comply with the latter, you need to get familiar with the Distance Selling Act. Wehelp you do so in this piece.

Informing the customer

In distance selling, you must inform your buyers about your company and products or services. You can use any type of information medium to do this, but your clients must be able to access, among other things, various elements relating to your offers. Among the information that you must communicate in the act of distance selling are your company name and contact details. The selling prices (including VAT) of your products, the terms and conditions, the period of validity of your offer and the characteristics of your products. Still within the framework of mandatory information, the French Hamon law of 17 March 2014 for instance, stipulates that you must also inform your buyers about payment methods, delivery limits, the delivery deadline or the right of withdrawal.

The right of withdrawal

The distance selling regulation states that you must give your customers the right of withdrawal. In other words, you must allow each of them to return the purchased product within 7 days in case of discontent without neither having to justify their action, nor be penalised. However, they must pay the return costs. 

Furthermore, if you have omitted to mention certain mandatory information relating to guarantees, after-sales service or contract cancellation conditions, your customers will benefit from a 3-month right of withdrawal. As for you, you must refund the customer who has exercised his or her right of withdrawal within a maximum of 1 month.

Honouring your contract with a customer

When a customer places an order for a product on your website, you must honour it within a maximum of 30 days. If you are unable to meet this deadline due to a stock shortage, you must inform him or her. He or she can then choose to wait or get a refund within 30 days. Alternatively, you can offer him or her an equivalent product to the one requested, provided that this is stated in the original sales contract.

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