EU Consumer Rights Directive – adapt your site in 10 steps

Loi Hamon

The European Consumer Rights Directive changes the European rules for online trade and aims to introduce more transparency to the international relationship between customers and professionals.
Here is a list of adjustments to make to your site to comply with the new trade rules:

Step 1: Store your former documents
All contracts signed before the 13th of June 2014 will be subject to the former legislation. Keep a version of your webblock pages, previous terms and conditions, information pages and FAQs.
Do this by clicking on the [Gallery \ Webblock pages] Menu and view the properties of a webblock. Then click on the [Duplicate] button to create a new version.
You will then be able to change your information pages: delivery time, returns, refunds…

The Consumer Rights Directive attempts to ensure that customers are well informed concerning the items they buy online. Ecommerce professionals must clearly display item characteristics, payment methods and potential shipping restrictions.

Step 2: Terms and conditions
We suggest you modify your terms and conditions to comply with these new changes.

Here are the 3 mains points that need to be verified in your terms and conditions and information pages:

- The customer has the right to withdraw within 14 days.
According to the Directive on Consumer Rights you must give customers a longer grace period after an online order. If a customer wishes to exchange or return any online purchase, the withdrawal period must now be 14 days and no longer 7. Some goods are exceptions to this rule.

- The merchant must refund the consumer within 14 days.
With the Directive on Consumer Rights, customers must be reimbursed by the merchant within 14 days after exercising their right of withdrawal or observing a manufacturing defect.

- The shipping period must be within 30 days.
The Directive on Consumer Rights introduces the obligation for merchants to deliver the product purchased online by the date indicated. If no delivery date is indicated, the merchant must deliver the product within 30 days from the order date.

We recommend you consult a specialised legal expert to approve your terms and conditions.

You can edit the content of your terms and conditions by clicking on the [Gallery \ Webblock Pages] Menu or by customising the PDF file you’ve created and inserted in your gallery.

If you do not have any terms and conditions you can add an Actinic model by clicking on the [Gallery \ Webblock Pages] Menu, the [Add] button and selecting “2 - Company information”.

Step 3: Activate your new terms and conditions for your Shopping cart
The order process requires the activation of your terms and conditions.
This can be done by clicking on the menu [Commerce \ Shopping cart] > Component-Properties

And associating the new webblock to the shopping cart.

Example:
Navigation behaviour: display a webblock in a pop-up window
Webblock: Terms and Conditions
Window width: 500 px
Window height: 300 px

Step 4: Activate a withdrawal form
Add a withdrawal form and insert a link at the bottom of the page by clicking on the menu [Gallery > Webblock pages], then the [Add] button to add the Actinic template.

Select “2 - Trade information” to view the standard “Withdrawal form” template.
You can then customise the form with your company information: address, phone, email, etc.

We recommend you customise the reason for return on the form with a drop-down menu.

At the bottom of the form, you can also customise the conditions for withdrawal: return conditions, limits for certain items, refund conditions etc.
. “(…) the trader shall provide the consumer with the following information in a clear and comprehensible manner: Where a right of withdrawal exists, the conditions, time limit and procedures for exercising that right in accordance with Article 11(1), as well as the model withdrawal form (…)"

Please find below 2 forms as example:

Word file form: http://www.oxatis.com/withdrawal-form.doc
Pdf file form: http://www.oxatis.com/withdrawal-form.pdf

Step 5: Customise a thank-you message
In the properties of the withdrawal form webblock you can define a recipient email and a thank-you message to explain how the procedure works.
We recommend you tick the “Save the values from the form in a file” box to keep a copy of the all information you receive in an online file.

Step 6: Configure your menu
Once you have created your new terms and conditions, withdrawal form and new information pages, you can change the current links leading to these pages.

Click on the menu [Site \ Menus \ Footer menu], then define a link to the withdrawal form, the terms and conditions and your return policy.

Step 7: Customise your order notification

You now have the option of adding an attached file and automatically sending it to the customer during order confirmation. You can create a PDF with your terms and conditions that you will easily be able to associate with order notification.

Click on the Gallery Menu > Files > and insert your PDF The file must not exceed 100KB and the format has to be: .pdf .doc or .xls. Click on [Site \ Email customization] and add the email notification model “Order confirmation for shopping card”.
In the “General” Tab, > Main sub tab, associate the attachment to order confirmation. If your site is multilingual, this has to be repeated for all languages.

Step 8: Customise the checkout button
The law requires that the customer be informed that by confirming the order he has to pay for it. In some cases, such as a hostel booking site, the transaction is not made directly until after the order confirmation.
In this specific case, the wording “Order with obligation to pay” can be used during the order confirmation.

You can then customise this system text by clicking on the [Commerce \ Shopping cart (shop)] > Components - Texts
Then click on the [...] button for [47] [Confirm Your Order]
You can then customise the text for this payment button.

Step 9: Mobile version

If you have added terms and conditions to an information page for the mobile version of your site, don’t forget to update this information as well.

Click on the menu Site > Mobile version and customise the information page texts.

Step 10: Reassuring elements
If you wish to display reassuring elements on a product page, you can use the Insertion Blocks in Item Page.
Actinic also offers a charged service of a shipping cost estimator at the beginning of the checkout process.

Source: Europa.eu – Directives

Excerpts from the Directive
« Article 9 – 1. Save where the exceptions provided for in Article 16 apply, the consumer shall have a period of 14 days to withdraw from a distance or off-premises contract, without giving any reason, and without incurring any costs other than those provided for in Article 13(2) and Article 14.”»

« Article 10 – 1. – 1. If the trader has not provided the consumer with the information on the right of withdrawal as required by point (h) of Article 6(1), the withdrawal period shall expire 12 months from the end of the initial withdrawal period, as determined in accordance with Article 9(2).»


« Article 6 – 1. Before the consumer is bound by a distance or off-premises contract, or any corresponding offer, the trader shall provide the consumer with the following information in a clear and comprehensible manner »

« (h) where a right of withdrawal exists, the conditions, time limit and procedures for exercising that right in accordance with Article 11(1), as well as the model withdrawal form set out in Annex I(B) »



(i) where applicable, that the consumer will have to bear the cost of returning the goods in case of withdrawal and, for distance contracts, if the goods, by their nature, cannot normally be returned by post, the cost of returning the goods;

(k) where a right of withdrawal is not provided for in accordance with Article 16, the information that the consumer will not benefit from a right of withdrawal or, where applicable, the circumstances under which the consumer loses his right of withdrawal;[...]”»

«Article 13 – 1.The trader shall reimburse all payments received from the consumer, including, if applicable, the costs of delivery without undue delay and in any event not later than 14 days from the day on which he is informed of the consumer’s decision to withdraw from the contract in accordance with Article 11.
The trader shall carry out the reimbursement referred to in the first subparagraph using the same means of payment as the consumer used for the initial transaction, unless the consumer has expressly agreed otherwise and provided that the consumer does not incur any fees as a result of such reimbursement.

2. Notwithstanding paragraph 1, the trader shall not be required to reimburse the supplementary costs, if the consumer has expressly opted for a type of delivery other than the least expensive type of standard delivery offered by the trader

3. Unless the trader has offered to collect the goods himself, with regard to sales contracts, the trader may withhold the reimbursement until he has received the goods back, or until the consumer has supplied evidence of having sent back the goods, whichever is the earliest.”

« Article 14 – Unless the trader has offered to collect the goods himself, the consumer shall send back the goods or hand them over to the trader or to a person authorised by the trader to receive the goods, without undue delay and in any event not later than 14 days from the day on which he has communicated his decision to withdraw from the contract to the trader in accordance with Article 11. The deadline shall be met if the consumer sends back the goods before the period of 14 days has expired.
The consumer shall only bear the direct cost of returning the goods unless the trader has agreed to bear them or the trader failed to inform the consumer that the consumer has to bear them.
In the case of off-premises contracts where the goods have been delivered to the consumer’s home at the time of the conclusion of the contract, the trader shall at his own expense collect the goods if, by their nature, those goods cannot normally be returned by the post.”»

« Article 18 – 1.Unless the parties have agreed otherwise on the time of delivery, the trader shall deliver the goods by transferring the physical possession or control of the goods to the consumer without undue delay, but not later than 30 days from the conclusion of the contract.»

2. Where the trader has failed to fulfil his obligation to deliver the goods at the time agreed upon with the consumer or within the time limit set out in paragraph 1, the consumer shall call upon him to make the delivery within an additional period of time appropriate to the circumstances. If the trader fails to deliver the goods within that additional period of time, the consumer shall be entitled to terminate the contract.”»

« Article 22 –Before the consumer is bound by the contract or offer, the trader shall seek the express consent of the consumer to any extra payment in addition to the remuneration agreed upon for the trader’s main contractual obligation. If the trader has not obtained the consumer’s express consent but has inferred it by using default options which the consumer is required to reject in order to avoid the additional payment, the consumer shall be entitled to reimbursement of this payment.” »

 


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