Selling online, over the phone, or by mail

Written notice

You must give customers written notice of the right to cancel within a cooling-off period unless:

  • the contract is of an excluded type such as car hire, holidays, financial, home grocery deliveries, flowers, etc.
  • goods are bespoke, made especially for the customer, e.g. name on a football strip
  • goods can be copied, e.g. unsealed discs, dvd's, software etc.

If exempt, tell consumers they have no right to cancel.

Right to cancel

Your customer has the right to cancel:

  • for goods. The cooling-off period begins from placing an order until 14 days after the day the goods are received.
  • for a service only. The cooling-off period ends 14 days after contract agreed. If they want the service right away advise that they’re giving up these rights.
  • and doesn't need to tell you why: they just need to email/write to you.

Download a draft cancellation notice and form (PDF)

Your responsibilities

You must:

  • advise customers of their cancellation rights when they buy something from you online, over the phone, or by mail order
  • inform customers to return the goods in a saleable condition, otherwise you are entitled to deduct an appropriate amount from a full refund
  • provide an email address on your website for cancellation
  • refund basic delivery costs for goods cancelled
  • provide a basic cost telephone number for customers to call you

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