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The Distance Selling Directive: points for future revision

Henderson, K. and Poulter, A. (2002) The Distance Selling Directive: points for future revision. International Review of Law, Computers and Technology, 16 (3). pp. 289-300. ISSN 1360-0869

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The EU Distance Selling Directive that was implemented in UK law in the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 has provided guidelines for the protection of consumers undertaking distance transactions. The following paper discusses the provisions of the Directive with particular reference to e-commerce via the Internet, highlighting some possible areas for further consideration. Articles within the Distance Selling Directive are examined for problems of legal interpretation and implementation. There is discussion of: Article 2 (Definitions) and difficulties with its fundamental concepts of 'supplier' and 'consumer'; unnecessary exemptions in Article 3 (Exemptions); the 'local taxes' headache (and others) in Article 4 (Prior Information) and using e-mail under Article 5 (Written Confirmation of Contract). Under Article 6 (Right of Withdrawal), the 'cooling off period', exempted goods and services, refunds and reclaiming goods, and for Article 7 (Performance) substitute goods and contract law implications, are investigated. Finally Article 8 (Payment by Card) looks at protection against fraudulent card use.