On 1 October 2008 the ‘Cancellation of Contracts Made in a Consumer’s Home or Place of Work etc Regulations 2008’ (the Regulations) came into force. The Regulations are aimed at traders who enter into a contract with a consumer at their home or workplace. They also cover contracts made at another individual’s home or on an excursion organised by the trader away from their business premises.
The Regulations replace the 'Cancellation of Contracts Concluded Away from Business Premises Regulations 1987' and extend the law on cooling-off periods and cancellation rights for consumers. The Regulations cover contracts that are made during both solicited and unsolicited visits by traders. The Regulations will apply to all contracts with a total payment of more than £35 and they provide consumers with a minimum seven calendar day cooling off period and cancellation rights. The Regulations also require cancellation rights to be clearly and prominently displayed in any written contract or provided in writing if there is no written contract.
This means consumers have the safety net of a good cooling off period. It will also help to tackle underhand tactics used by rogues who take advantage of loopholes in the law.
Further guidance for businesses can be found on the doorstep selling FAQ's page.
A copy of the 'Cancellation of Contracts in a Consumer's Home or Place of Work etc Regulations 2008' can be found at:
The Government published a formal consultation on the draft Regulations on 29 January 2008. The Consultation closed on 22 April 2008. The Government published its response to the Consultation on 12 June 2008.
Measures to encourage greater transparency and prices are being taken forward through industry self-regulation, by encouraging traders to operate under Codes of Practice that have been approved under the Office of Fair Trading's Consumer Codes Approval Scheme, or for the building and construction trades through participation in TrustMark www.trustmark.org.uk
For further information on the OFT Codes Scheme please visit their website.