New ruling slows access to revenue from online sales

Salons and spas that retail online could be left waiting three months before they can bank any money taken, following a new ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ). 

Under the Distance Selling Regulations, which apply to all sales where the buyer is not present, such as online, buyers must be given basic information including the fact that they have rights to cancel their order and get a refund.
 
The court ruled that it is no longer sufficient to place those rights on a website and provide a hyperlink, which many retailers currently do. Instead, buyers must actively receive this information rather than just be told where to access it online. Online retailers will need to send the information to the buyer afterwards rather than making it visible before the purchase. This means the buyer has three months rather than a week to cancel purchases.  
 
Vanessa Barnett, partner at law firm Charles Russell LLP, said: "Although this sounds like a small administrative point, the consequences of not getting it right are material – it essentially extends a consumer's cancellation rights period to months rather than a week.”