New Consumer Contracts Regulations

June 17, 2014   //   No Comments

The Consumer Contracts Regulations came into effect on 13th June 2014. They apply to items bought online, at a distance, or away from a trader’s premises.

For funeral directors, these updated regulations are important when you arrange a funeral at someone’s home rather than at your funeral premises.  They replace the Distance Selling Regulations and Doorstep Selling Regulations.

The most important point for funeral directors is that consumers or clients now have 14 days, instead of the previous 7 days, in which they may cancel a contract made face-to-face off-premises.  The law states that the trader shouldn’t start providing the service before the 14 day cancellation period has ended, unless the consumer has requested this.

In practice, for funeral directors, this service will most likely have started to be provided before the 14 days period ends.  Once the funeral director has started to provide the service, the client may still cancel the contract, but must pay for the value of the service provided up to the point of cancellation.  If the full service is provided within 14 days, the client’s right to cancel can be lost.

So, what does this mean for funeral directors?  As we have previously advised, always ensure that your client signs the Estimate Form with up to date Terms and Conditions.  SAIF members may login to the Member’s Area and find two sample Estimate Forms which include the updated Terms and Conditions here.

Further details about the new regulations may be found on the Which? Consumer website here or the Government’s Department for Business Innovation and Skills website here.