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Press releases 2002 -

OFT/ Easycar - Distance Selling Regulations (DSRs)

5 December 2002

The OFT has today asked the High Court for permission to apply for an injunction against easyCar under the Distance Selling Regulations. It has also informed the Court that it intends to contest easyCar's claim for a declaration that the regulations do not apply to their business.

The OFT had asked easyCar to comply with the DSRs after receiving a number of complaints about easyCar's refusal to allow consumers to cancel car-hire contracts and get a refund. The Regulations give consumers a cooling off period.

The OFT gave easyCar until 22 November to agree to comply with the law, or the OFT would on that date seek an injunction from the Court to stop further breaches. The day before the deadline, easyCar asked the court to declare whether the DSRs applied to them.

The DSRs, introduced in 2000, provide extra protection for consumers purchasing goods and services by telephone, internet or other 'distance' means from a business. They require business to give consumers certain information and give consumers a seven day 'cooling-off' period in which consumers have the unconditional right to cancel.

The Regulations do not apply to 'contracts for the provision of transport services' on a specific date or within a specific period, by such as train operators, bus companies and airlines. But the OFT is clear that self-drive car hire is not in law a 'transport service' and that easyCar's customers are entitled to the protection offered by the DSRs, including the 'cooling-off' period.

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