The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 places a number of liabilities upon a person or persons carrying on a business providing a service to the consumer / homeowner to make available certain information, this is a statutory requirement.

The Regulations came into force on 13 June 2014 and apply to contracts entered into on or after that date, this document is still current.

If a consumer entered into a contract prior to 13 June 2014, these Regulations do not apply. 

The specific information within this statutory instrument varies depending on whether the sale of goods and/or services are made at a distance (for example, online or over the phone) or face-to-face somewhere that's not the business premises of the trader. (Also known as 'off-premises') 

If you are thinking of switching from a gas DFE (decorative fuel effect) fire to either an open fire or a stove the following conditions apply to both trader and consumer. (You) 

For distance or off-premises sales

The following key information must be provided to the consumer / home owner by the person or persons carrying on the business:

A description of the goods and/or services provided in writing so that the information is clear and legible. 

This means a full and concise breakdown of all component parts you are paying for, their individual value. 

The total price of the goods and/or services and the manner in which the price has been calculated.
Details relating to refunds and any refund penalties.

Refunds and the circumstances under which these are returned to the consumer must be made clear and agreed to contractually.

Details of a right to cancel - the person, persons and/or business providing the service and/or goods needs to provide, or make available, a standard cancellation form to make cancelling easy. 

In accordance with the Consumer Rights Act 2015, all contracts for services and/or goods must contain a separate right to cancel document, this should be made available to the consumer before work commences. The consumer has the right to cancel any contract within 14 days of its issue.

Information about the person, persons and/or business including their geographical address and contact details and the address and identity of any other person, persons and/or business for whom the trader is acting.

Avoid dealing with any trader/business merely displaying a mobile number, no address and no Public Liability/Professional Indemnity insurance protection.

Delivery of key information

Failure to provide the required information, or to provide it in the way set out in the regulations to a consumer, could result in cancellation rights being extended by up to a year!

The information should be given in writing in a 'durable medium' such as on paper or by email. 

Consumers and home owners are also entitled to confirmation of the contract as well as a copy of the contract and if the information wasn’t initially provided in a durable form, the trader must provide it at the point of confirmation.

The regulations clearly dictate that a contract must be provided either prior to or at the point work commences. This is a compulsory requirement, all Hetas installers for instance must, in accordance with this schemes ‘Rules of Registration’ provide a written contract.

What are my rights under the Consumer Contracts Regulations?

Consumers/home owner’s right to cancel an order for goods made at a distance starts from the moment an order is placed and ends 14 days from the day you receive either good and/or services or both. The right to cancel a service made at a distance starts the moment the consumer / home owner enter into the contract and lasts 14 days

Cancelling goods and services

The Consumer Contracts Regulations gives the consumer / homer owner key cancellation rights when entering into contracts at a distance over the phone, online, from a catalogue or face-to-face with someone who has visited your home. These cancellation rights are more generous than if you bought goods or services from a high street shop.

Your right to cancel

The consumers / home owners right to cancel an order for goods starts the moment an order is placed and ends 14 days from the day goods and/or services or both are received.  If an order consists of multiple goods, the 14 day period runs from when the last of the batch is received.

This 14 day period is the time a consumer / home owner has to decide whether to cancel, the consumer / home owner has a further 14 days to actually send goods back.

Your right to a refund

Consumers / home owners should expect a refund within 14 days from the person, persons and/or business (the trader) getting the goods back or having disposed of them some other way. If the person, persons and/or business (the trader) has installed any product, spare part and/or component any refund may be less such product, spare part and/or component if it is still on the consumers / home owner’s property. 

If a person, persons and/or business (the trader) has offered to collect goods, products, spares part and/or components it should refund you 14 days from the date you informed the person, persons and/or business (the trader) you wanted to cancel the contract. So, this means you don't have to wait for the person, persons and/or business (the trader) to have collected the goods or to have returned them to their supplier to get your refund.

A deduction can be made if the value of the goods has been reduced as a result of the consumer / home owner handling the goods more than was necessary. 

The method for returning materials and/or components or associated parts must be made clear in the contract between the parties.

Refunding the cost of delivery

The trader has to refund the basic delivery cost of getting the goods to you in the first place, so if you opted for enhanced service eg guaranteed next day, it only has to refund the basic cost. 

All traders/contractors charge for delivery, these charges are often hidden within the overall cost of the work, therefore if goods, components, parts and/or equipment is provided, ask for the cost breakdown for delivery, this amount should be refunded to you separately. 


There are some circumstances where the Consumer Contracts Regulations won’t give you a right to cancel.

These include, CDs, DVDs or software if you've broken the seal on the wrapping, perishable items and tailor-made or personalised items. They also include goods with a seal for health protection and hygiene reasons that's been broken.

Also included are goods that have been mixed inseparably with other items after delivery.

Always check the terms and conditions

The minimum cancellation period that you must be given is 14 days but many sellers choose to exceed this, so always check the terms and conditions in case you have longer to change your mind. 

This applies to all services provided on a domestic basis. It is onerous upon the home owner to check and confirm that Terms & Conditions are clear, precise, fair, unbiased and without waivers of liability or responsibility

Cancelling services

The right to cancel.  You have 14 days from entering into a service contract in which you can cancel it. The trader shouldn’t start providing the service before the 14 day cancellation period has ended, unless you have requested this. 

Only agree to the commencement of work if you are sure that you are happy with the circumstances of the contract.

If you request a service starts straightaway

In this instance you will still have the right to cancel, but you must pay for the value of the service that is provided up to the point you cancel. For example, if you buy a service like gym membership and start using the gym and then change your mind within this 14 day time period, you will be refunded but could be charged for the amount of gym time you used.

If the service is provided in full within 14 days

The right to cancel can be lost during the cancellation period if the service is provided in full before the 14 days elapses.  

Make sure you receive original Pl and PI insurance certification

It is incumbent upon and a legal requirement of the trader/business to provide access to or copies of their PL and PI insurance certification.

No matter how financially attractive an offer for goods and/or services may be, always ask the provider of the goods and services to provide you with both Public Liability and Professional Indemnity insurance certification. This should be in the form of a Bona-Fide certificate from the traders underwriter, do not be lulled into a false sense of security by being offered nothing more than an insurance schedule which is worthless and make sure the policies are in date, state the traders/business’s name and address and the type of work covered, if there appear to be discrepancies do not agree to or sign any legally binding document.

(Make sure the policies are in date, state the traders/business’s name and address and the type of work covered, if there appear to be discrepancies do not agree to or sign any legally binding document).

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