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The Importance of Terms and Conditions for the Provision of Goods and/or Services in Business to Consumer Transactions

Having a robust set of terms and conditions in place is a vital consideration for the success any business. When appropriately incorporated into a contract, terms and conditions provide a default legal position should a dispute arise, minimising the potential risk of costly litigation.

Appropriate terms and conditions is especially important for businesses who sell to consumers (essentially private individuals purchasing for their own personal use), who are afforded a higher level of statutory protection than business customers. This is especially true when selling takes place at a distance, for example, online through a website. Amongst other legislation, the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 sets out strict provisions that must be adhered to in these trading circumstances, including:

  • Providing certain pre-contract information in a clear and transparent form.
  • Recognising a consumer’s right to change their mind (for any reason) within 14 days of purchase.
  • The consumer’s options for resolving disputes as an alternative to litigation, such as a formal complaints handling policy or alternative dispute resolution procedure.

If you own or manage a business that engages in distance selling to consumers, it is vital to ensure that your terms and conditions adhere to the applicable legislation and provide clear and transparent pre-contract guidance to your customers.

If you would like assistance in the preparation of bespoke terms and conditions, or a review of your existing terms, then contact the Legal500 recognised Corporate and Commercial team on 0800 088 6004.

 

Catherine Healy

Posted:

Catherine Healy

Trainee Solicitor

Catherine is a Trainee Solicitor currently working in the Corporate & Commercial team.