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Buying online: your rights and the law

​Know your rights when buying online

Consumers who buy from Jersey or EU businesses online often have more consumer rights than buying something from a shop.

Why?

You have additional rights under the Distance Selling (Jersey) Law 2007 or laws introduced in European countries by the Directive on Consumer Rights (2011/83/EC).

Distance Selling (Jersey) Law 2007 on the Jersey Law website

What are these additional rights under the Jersey law?

Goods or services must be delivered or provided within 30 days of the date of your order or by the date you agreed. If not, you have the right to a full refund.

If you change your mind, you can usually cancel the order and receive a full refund anytime from the date of order up to 7 working days after you have received the goods or signed up for a service.

The trader also needs to give you specific information before and after you make the purchase. This includes their name, address, the price of the goods (including all taxes) and details of any cancellation rights.

Do I have these rights with all goods and services I buy?

No. Some contracts fall outside of the law. Examples include financial services and auction sales. Also, if you buy from a private seller who is not acting in the course of their business, this contract is outside the scope of the law.

What if I buy goods from traders outside of Jersey or Europe, for example the USA or China?

Additional consumer rights when buying at a distance originate from European Directives. Jersey introduced a law in 2007 to give consumers similar protection to that of the UK and Europe. Since then, the Directive was repealed and a new Directive on Consumer Rights was introduced. Jersey will be looking to amend the 2007 law to reflect these most recent changes. In the meantime, if you shop online from outside of Jersey or Europe you should take extra care. You may have no rights to information or cancellation. 

Are there some goods or services that are exempt from the right to cancel?

Yes, the following are exempt from the right to cancel:

  • perishable goods like flowers
  • newspapers and magazines
  • unwrapped computer software, games, DVD’s, music
  • download services such as music, software, films
  • gaming, betting or lottery services
  • goods that have been personalised or made to the consumer’s specifications
  • timeshare agreements
  • contracts for the supply of food or beverages
  • tourism packages
  • contracts for the provision of accommodation, transport, catering or leisure services where the services are on a specific date or within an agreed period

How do I cancel an order?

Check the trader's website for details. You should have been sent an e-mail or letter which also gives you information on how to cancel.

If you still can’t find instructions, e-mail, write or fax the trader at their last known address. You should do this as soon as you can.

Who pays for returning the goods?

If you are responsible for the cost of return goods this should be stated in the trader's terms and conditions. For high value items you may want to send them by an insured carrier. Remember, you are responsible for the safe return of the goods until the trader has them in their possession. Check the trader's website for any specific instructions on returns.

Need more help or advice?

Contact our Consumer Advice Service for free confidential advice. 

Consumer Advice Service

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