If you’ve ever ordered a product or commissioned a service in this way, the seller has certain obligations, and you have certain rights which are worth knowing. Firstly, the supplier must provide you with pre-contractual information in respect of identity of the supplier, description of the main characteristics of the product or service, price, delivery costs, arrangements for delivery, performance and payment, cancellation rights, cost of communication (for e.g. premium rate telephone line), period of validity of offer, information regarding substitute products. This information must be communicated clearly, but not necessarily in writing, before your order is confirmed so that you can be in possession of all the facts should you wish to change your mind. Once you have made your order, you must then receive written confirmation of this order no later than the time of delivery of the product or performance of the service. If the supplier does not, he is not in breach, but must do so within 3 months. This is an important point, because the time you received written confirmation of your order has implications for the length of time in which you have to cancel.

Mail order and distance selling