Business Law

Implementing the EU’s directive on consumer rights – part 3

Existing consumer rights legislation provides that consumers making online purchases (distance contracts) must receive information, before committing to a contract, about the services being received and their rights. Through the transposition of the EU’s directive on consumer rights the scope of pre-contract information to be provided to consumers will be extended.

Existing consumer rights legislation provides that consumers making online purchases (distance contracts) must receive information, before committing to a contract, about the services being received and their rights. Through the transposition of the EU’s directive on consumer rights the scope of pre-contract information to be provided to consumers will be extended. In addition to stating the minimum duration of a contract, as is now the case, traders will be required to state the entire duration. Information on a consumer’s right to terminate indefinite contracts and fixed-term contracts with automatic extensions must also be provided. In addition, under the working draft, traders are required to provide consumers with information about how to operate digital content.

Better information on the total price for a product will need to be provided. Total prices will be broken down to include information not only on taxes and deductions but also on how the price is calculated. For subscriptions, the total price will include the total cost per billing period. If the subscription is charged at a fixed rate, the total monthly price will be shown.

Under the new legal framework, some traders’ information requirements are being dispensed with. A trader will no longer be required to provide details of a local agent in the Member State in which the purchaser is domiciled. But a trader will have to provide details of his own identity and his address. According to the working draft, e-mail addresses, telephone numbers and fax numbers must only be provided in certain circumstances.

Kilian Kost joined WILDE BEUGER SOLMECKE as a lawyer in 2009. He specialises in internet law and competition law. In 2013 he became an accredited intellectual property lawyer.

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