Notary Public Comments on OFT Investigation

London Notary Public, Matthew Pryke,  provides a timely reminder to online retailers about the need to ensure complete compliance with the Distance Selling Regulations (“DSR”). This London Notary explains that a recent OFT investigation of 156 online retailers established evidence that a large portion of websites are falling well short of compliance when it comes to the DSR. This London Notaries practice understands that after concluding this investigation the OFT immediately wrote to 62 online retailers highlighting exactly how they were falling short of compliance. We also understand that these infringement notices also advised these businesses that enforcement action would be taken in the absense of compliance.

“It is not all bad news!” indicates Matthew Pryke who is the owner of London Notary practice M D Pryke Notary Public. “The OFT did report that the level of compliance had improved markedly when compared to similar investigations from previous years.” 

However despite these improvements the OFT considers there are areas where online retailers continue to fall short. For example the OFT has indicated that 33% of sites appeared to put unreasonable hurdles in the way of statutory rights to refunds. Most commonly this is because of a requirement that a product must be returned in its original packaging or condition. The OFT has indicated that it considers this obligation may restrict a consumer’s reasonable right to inspect a product once delivered.

This report is published hot on the heels of a recent ruling by the European Court of Justice that online retailers cannot rely on providing a hyperlink to online terms and conditions. For retailers to go the full distance the ECJ ruled that businesses must ensure their customers have a permanent, durable written record of the terms and conditions (including cancellation rights) that apply at the time of their order.

For further information about the DSR or the legal compliance required to operate a consumer facing website then please contact our Notary Public in London on 0207 355 6019 or matthew@mdpryke-notary.com. M D Pryke Notary Public is a Notaries practice based on Regent Street in London providing notarial services to clients in Mayfair, the West End of London and central London for further information please visit www.mdpryke-notary.com

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