Although digital technology has been hugely beneficial to mankind, it can be argued it has also had a negative impact on some sections of society and the environment. Society has reacted to many of these issues by creating legislation that governs the use of digital technology and puts in place penalties if rules or laws are broken.

Consumer Contracts Regulations

The Consumer Contracts Regulations came into force on 13 June 2014.

These regulations are designed to protect us when purchasing good and services 'off premises'. This means we are covered when buying goods from online retailers. When purchasing online you have the right to:

  1. A description of the goods
  2. The total price of the goods
  3. How they will be provided to you
  4. All additional delivery charges
  5. Details about your right to cancel
  6. Information on the compatibility of digital content with hardware and other software that the trader is aware of (or can reasonably be expected to be aware of)

In summary, Consumer Contracts Regulations state that:

  • Your right to cancel an order for goods made at a distance starts when you receive the goods and lasts for 14 days
  • Your right to cancel a service made at a distance starts the moment you enter into the contract and lasts 14 days
  • If you want to download digital content within the 14-day cancellation period, you must agree to waive your cancellation rights
  • Companies are not allowed to charge you for items they put in your online shopping basket or that you have bought as a result of a pre-ticked box

Examples of six rights you have when purchasing goods online