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Online stores breach shopping rights

Shops agree to give you longer to cancel orders

Delivery van

Read the small print as returns policies vary

Which? has found the terms and conditions of some online stores, including TheBodyShop.co.uk, HarveyNichols.com and Zavvi.com, have been failing to comply with regulations that protect your shopping rights.

Which? investigated the terms and conditions of 130 online stores and found more than one in ten fell foul of the Distance Selling Regulations (DSRs) – most notably giving you less time to return online purchases than you’re entitled to.

Distance selling rules

Under the DSRs you can cancel an order in writing any time up to seven working days from the day after you receive it. This rule applies even if you simply change your mind. You’re then entitled to a full refund of the cost of the goods, plus any delivery fees. 

However, when we checked stores’ terms and conditions online, HarveyNichols.com said goods had to be returned within seven working days, while Zavvi.com and TheBodyShop.co.uk gave you only seven calendar days to cancel an order, although we understand Zavvi.com gives longer in practice. 

When we contacted all three stores they agreed to amend their terms.

Following our sweep of online stores, many of the other shops that were confused about the rules have changed their terms, thanking Which? for pointing out their error.

It’s worth checking the small print before you buy anything online as we found that stores’ terms and conditions vary widely.

For more advice about your rights when shopping online check out the Which? guide to , including the laws you can use and sample letters.

Find out which high street shops top our survey of 100 stores in our annual shops survey

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