U.K. Consumers to Get More Time to Return Goods Bought Online

U.K. consumers will get more time to return goods purchased online or by phone if they change their mind, under draft legislation published today.

Business Minister Jo Swinson said the time limit will be increased to 14 days from seven and her department may also ban pre-ticked boxes for extras on online forms that consumers may not want or need. Traders would be required to set out key information consumers should be given before agreeing to purchases, such as additional costs or cancellation rights.

“For too long the rules that apply when buying goods and services have been murky for both consumers and businesses,” Swinson said in an e-mailed statement. “The situation is even worse for vulnerable consumers who are misled into buying something they neither need nor want.”

The proposals would give consumers 90 days to cancel a contract and receive a full refund if they have been misled or bullied into agreeing to it. They’d get a proportion of their money back after 90 days. Currently, it is unclear what consumers are entitled to in this situation, the business department said.

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