Distance selling refers to sales in which the buyer and seller are not present in the same place at the same time. The sale and the preceding marketing are conducted entirely by email, telephone or another communication method.
Some typical forms of distance selling include online, telephone and mail order sales. Some of the rules that apply to distance selling differ from those applicable to ordinary sales and purchases. For example, most sales are subject to a right of cancellation.
The delivery method is irrelevant – distance selling applies if the agreement was made remotely, even if the agreed form of delivery is in-store collection.
The following do not constitute distance selling, however:
- A consumer contacting a local store by telephone or email and asking for home delivery of goods, to which the seller agrees for customer service reasons.
- The consumer making an appointment by telephone with a dentist or hairdresser, for example.
Companies must abide by the regulations applicable to distance selling, and may not formulate terms and conditions that are less favourable to the consumer than those guaranteed by law.