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Ecommerce Forum

Returns Policy for Tailor Made Items
Distance selling act (UK)

 10:19 am on Dec 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

Part of my product range includes items that are tailor made to a customers spec - I state in my terms and conditions that they cannot be returned unless faulty - Is this legal? With everything else I'm quite happy to allow people to return for refunds etc. as it's within their rights.

Does anyone here do anything similar?



 11:14 am on Dec 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

Ring your local trading standards office.


 2:31 pm on Dec 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

AFAIK if it's made to order then it's exempt from the Distance Selling reg returns clause.


 4:29 pm on Dec 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yes, that should be legal. I know definitively that it would be legal in Germany, and both UK and german distance selling laws are based on the same EC guidelines. The two week (if you announce it correctly) return right in distance selling only applies to goods that the merchant can just as well sell to the next customer instead. This is not the case with perishable goods (eg. food) or with custom made products, among other things.

One of the cases where the law actually agrees with common sense... ;)


 4:57 pm on Dec 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

However, remember that you need to ensure that the product tailors with the order, otherwise the customer is entitled to a replacement / modification / refund.


 12:19 am on Dec 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Agreed. If it is clear the item is custom made then you can stand by a no refund policy, and if someone asks (i know you made the suit to fit, and it's perfect but i don't like pink velvet now you've made it) then that is their look out.

If not, then standard distance selling applies. We always get confirmation by e-mail in these cases. On the odd occasion it is questioned a reply stating the facts sorts things out. I think the consumer is always right, unless they are wrong. If they order a custom built blue widget when it should be brown i don't see why the retailer should be out of pocket.


 8:47 am on Dec 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Great - many thanks for all the responses, I certainly feel more comfortable with my terms & conditions now.

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