20 June, 2014

Changes to Consumer Law that will affect your dating business

In June, a number of new consumer protection regulations from the European Union came into force. These new regulations, called the Consumer Contracts Regulations, replace Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations. These rules call for greater transparency in pre-contractual information, clearer payment rules and new cancellation periods.

Which changes apply to us?

Pre-contractual information

The regulations call for additional information to be included in the pre-contractual information we share with members. They also call for a new cancellation form to be provided when the consumer has a right to cancel. This must be provided in a durable format such as paper or email, but must clearly indicate the service description, trading identity, cost, subscription length or extension conditions and cancellation procedure.

Cancellation and refunds

The regulations will give consumers an extended ‘cooling off’ period of up to 14 days after they take out a subscription; previously, the cooling off period was just 7 days.

The current rules about offering refunds have been altered too. Previously, a customer was entitled to a full refund within within the cooling off period if they hadn’t used the service. Now, a customer is entitled to a refund for the unused portion of their term (effectively, a partial-refund).

Payments

As part of the new changes, businesses must make it very clear when a consumer is about to pay for a service. For example, pre-ticked boxes are not acceptable; you must use a ‘pay now’ button.

What changes have we made?

We welcome any changes that enhance the quality of user experience for our members. In line with the latest policy updates, we have updated the payments page to make the full costs of a subscription package clearer, amended our terms and conditions, and added clearer calls to action. We have also enhanced the confirmation email that members receive when they upgrade to include all of the new relevant information; this email also includes a copy of a printable cancellation form.

Finally, we have trained all of our customer facing staff so that they’re experts in understanding and adhering to these new policies.

If you have any questions at all, please get in touch.

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