Which? success as online shops amend return rulesMarks and Spencer and Next review online Ts and Cs

27 December 2009

Which? has succeeded in getting several popular online stores to change their terms and conditions after we found they appeared to break rules that protect your rights.

We checked the websites of all the online shops featured in our recent to see if their instructions on order cancellations and returns met the Distance Selling Regulations (DSRs) – and found that some appeared to give you less time to cancel an order than you should have.

Take a look at our advice for to make sure you’re not caught out - and if you're looking for a January sales bargain, our , and sales guides round up the latest offers.

Online shops change terms

Under the DSRs you are entitled to cancel an order any time from when you place it up to seven working days from the day after you receive it.

  • Game.co.uk’s terms gave just seven days to return TVs from when it dispatched them – but it has corrected this following contact from Which?.
  • Marksandspencer.com gave seven working days to return appliances ordered from the website – it thanked us for highlighting this and is reviewing its terms.
  • Next.co.uk gives you 10 days to return goods which can be less than set out in the regulations – it says it’s looking into this.
  • Boden.co.uk gives you just seven days to return sale items – in reality you have the same rights under the DSRs for sale items as other purchases.

Your consumer rights online

Take a look at our guide to - and get the latest hot deals on the high street and online in our January sales guides for , and .

Which? also found some shops ignoring guidance from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) on how to comply with the DSRs. Online shops can make you pay to return goods, but should refund the full cost of the order. The OFT insists this includes the delivery fee. Hughesdirect.co.uk changed its policy on returns to comply with this guidance after we contacted them.