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Dermot Callinan
Director of business services
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Online terms and conditions

Do you sell by e-commerce?

What is a cookie and are they legal?

e-commerce: To create trust in the online services provided by businesses, the governments of the EU member states agreed that certain provisions would have to be put in place so that consumers would be reassured that their personal and financial details would be kept safe and they would be in a position to enforce their legal rights when making purchases online.

Businesses who operate as online retailers have to comply with, amongst other things, the E-Commerce Regulations, Distance Selling Regulations, Consumer Protection and Unfair Trading Regulations. It is not sufficient to upload your standard terms and conditions to your website as they will not cater for these additional requirements. Nor should you cut and paste the terms and conditions used by your competitors as the terms you use need to reflect how your business operates.

Website terms of use: when establishing your website, you should have terms and conditions prepared which deal with access to and use of your website. In this way you can deter the unauthorised reproduction of materials from your site or malicious use of the site, and restrict your potential liabilities to visitors to the site.

Cookies: are used by many websites and can do a number of things e.g. remembering your customers’ preferences, recording what they have put in their shopping basket, and counting the number of people looking at your website. The rules on cookies are covered by the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations and the use of cookies is only allowed if your customer:

  • has been provided with clear and comprehensive information about the purposes for which the cookie is stored and accessed
  • has given their consent.

If you do not have any online policies or you are planning on establishing an online retailing site, contact the commercial team at Myers & Co for expert advice on your legal obligations.

Based in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, our commercial lawyers have a reputation for providing accurate advice, and dealing with complex problems in an efficient manner.   To find out more, contact us on 01782 577000.

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