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BizReport : Law & Regulation : August 03, 2011

UK OFT launches Distance Selling Hub for online retailers

Distance selling, despite the obvious benefits, presents online retailers with challenges and risks. To this end a new online resource has been set up providing businesses with guidance on how to comply with the UK's Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000.

by Helen Leggatt

DS_hub_logo.jpgResearch conducted by the Office of Fair Trading revealed that very few, just 9%, of businesses considered themselves "very familiar" with the Distance Selling Regulations they were expected to adhere to. At the same time consumer awareness of their rights had increased.

To this end the Office of Fair Trading has set up the "Distance Selling Hub", an online resource that answers online retailers' questions on what they need to do to comply with the Regulations.

The site also provides online retailers with guidance on handling various customer scenarios and a checklist of the information a business must provide to customers pre- and post-purchase.

"The growth in distance selling - in particular via the Internet - is bringing great benefits to consumers and the economy, but also creates new risks," said Jason Freeman, the OFT''s director of goods and consumer group.

"Businesses need to check that they are treating their customers fairly so that shoppers trust them and can continue to shop confidently. We know most traders want to comply with the rules and the development of this hub is designed to help them stay on the right side of the law."

Tags: distance selling, ecommerce, Europe, law, Office of Fair Trading, online businesses, online retail, Regulations, UK

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