New Distance Contracts Regulation ("DCR") issued on 27.11.2014 according to the new Consumer Protection Law (No 6502) and merely based on the new rules of the Directive on Consumer Rights (2011/83/EC) will enter into effect on 27.02.2015 repealing the current regulation dated 06.03.2011 and numbered 27866.
WHAT ARE THE MAJOR ISSUES CURED BY THE NEW DCR?
- Consumer approval process in
line with technological developments: The list of the
preliminary information to be provided to the consumers before the
conclusion of a sale transaction is longer in the DCR compared to
the previous regulation. But the seller no longer has to have that
list be signed in hard copy by the consumer for the contract to be
The list will need to be sent in writing or via a durable medium but the confirmation of the consumer (needed for validity of the agreement before) will now be obtained over the communication tool used for the sale of the products or services via distance contract.
- Major cost reduction for the OBTM sellers in approval process of the contract: For OBTM (Outbound Telemarketing) sales, though previously the whole list of preliminary information had to be communicated during the call and approved in writing by the consumer for the contract to be valid, now only 4 items among the preliminary information has to be confirmed by the consumer over the phone.But later the long list of preliminary information should be delivered to the consumer at delivery of the product or service. Thus, the OBTM sellers will avoid a huge cost of getting the written approval of the consumer for the contracts actually made over the phone to be legally valid.
- Emphasize on the obligation to pay: Just before the consumers confirm their orders, the seller must clearly indicate that placing the order means entering into obligation to pay. Otherwise the consumer will not be bound with the order.
- Express consent of the consumer to any extra payment: No more pre-ticked boxes are allowed on websites which the consumer is required to reject in order to avoid any additional payment and if so exists, the consumer will be entitled to reimbursement of such payment.
- Big changes with the withdrawal
- period is extended from 7 to 14 days
- period shall not start until the consumer is properly informed of his withdrawal right (vs. any one of the preliminary information)
- period shall expire after 1 year (vs. 3 months), in case of omission of the seller to inform the consumer of his right
- forms had been unified (if chosen to be used by the seller) and can be submitted to the seller electronically by the consumer.
- Consumer is the one to send the products back: Unless the seller has offered to collect the goods, the consumers must send back the goods or hand them over to the seller or to a person authorized by the seller to receive the goods, without undue delay and in any event not later than 10 days from the day on which they have communicated their decision.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.