Len Dastard wrestles with Distance Selling Regulations - includes letter templates

25 March 2011

Buenos días avid readers. Sad news. My pet donkey, Jesus-Ernesto, has passed away this morning. He was a major influence on my fictional wrestling career, braying his support from the ringside when I first fought in the Coatzacoalcos Wrestlemania in '69. He was a very old donkey, some may say impossibly so, but he was my friend.

He never knew of my career as a real-life litigation executive working on behalf of avid Bitterwallet readers, due to cataracts and an inability to read, what with him being a donkey and all. Goodbye, Jesus-Ernesto. Comer zanahorias en el cielo.

We were contacted by avid Bitterwallet reader Mark who was having some problems with a retailer called Clever Cloggs Clothing. Mark ordered several items of clothing from the retailer by email and specifically stated what sizes and quantity he would like to be sent. Clever Cloggs confirmed that they would send these specific items.

There was then the formalities of a contract (offer, acceptance and consideration etc) and Mark quite happily waited for the goods to arrive.

It was clear when the parcel arrived that they had not sent him what they had agreed as per their contract. This was no good to Mark so he set about trying to rely on the “cooling off period” that is afforded to consumers under the Distance Selling Regulations.

An email was sent to Clever Cloggs who responded to say that (quite correctly but not in these circumstances) that the DSR can only be applied to “business to consumer” transactions and not “business to business”. Whilst it might seem that due to the quantity of Marks order he could be running a business he simply was not. The order was for a number of t shirts for an evening out with the boys.

This was communicated to Clever Cloggs and they still refused to budge from their position and by now had simply ignored all correspondence. Luckily for Mark he was able to claim back from his credit card company his loss.

What could Mark have done if he was not able to recover the money from his credit card issuer? Well, the next step would usually be to write to them with something along the lines of:

Dear Sirs

**Insert order number or reference**

On **enter date** I placed an order for **insert item description** and wrote to you **enter date** to inform you that I wished to cancel the order but you have not acknowledged this or you have refused to accept this as my cancellation.

Under the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 I have seven working days from when I receive the goods. I have cancelled within this timeframe and the above regulations state that I am entitled to a full refund no later than 30 days from the date of my cancellation; accordingly, I look forward to receiving the refund no later than **enter date**.

If I do not receive the sum of **enter sum** within the timeframe as set out above then I shall have to write to you more formally under the Pre Action Protocol with a view to commencing court action

Yours sincerely

**Enter Name**

Now the following is an example of a template letter which complies with the requirements of the Pre Action Protocol if they still do not comply:

Dear Sirs

**enter reference number**

Further to my letter of **enter date** , to which you have not replied, I am writing to you now formally under the Pre Action Protocol. I have not received from you a satisfactory proposal for settlement of my outstanding claim.

As you are aware the basis of my claim is as follows **enter the details here of the order order, cancellation and the fact that they did not respond** . As a result I have suffered a loss of **enter a loss which can be seen to be in the contemplation of the parties**.

I attach a list and copies of all documents in this case:

**bullet point the documents that you are sending**

I would obviously prefer to resolve this matter without recourse to legal action and I will be very happy to consider any proposals you may put forward for resolving this dispute. However if I do not hear from you with a satisfactory response to this letter within 14 days then I will proceed to start legal action against you to recover my loss.

As this is a formal letter I must refer you to the Practice Direction on Pre-Action Conduct and in particular to Paragraph 4 concerning the Courts powers to impose sanctions for failure to comply with the Practice Direction. **you do not need to enclose this document but you must refer to it.

Yours sincerely

Should they ignore this letter it is advisable to either seek formal legal advice or issue your claim. It is worth remembering that no case is ever certain and sometimes paying out for some legal advice is worthwhile as long as it is proportionate to do so.

Would you have enough confidence to issue a claim or would it put you off?

If you have any other issues that you would like Bitterwallet to look at please contact us at [email protected] Adios!


  • Dick
    What does several mean here? 3 or 30?
  • Sawyer
    In your first template: "to inform you that I wished to cancel the order but you have acknowledged this" I think there should be a 'not': "you have not acknowledged this" I know that's picky, but they probably need to be right if anyone's going to use them as templates.
  • Paul S.
    Thanks Sawyer, corrected. I imagine Len was still distressed about the donkey.
  • Whisky
    May I suggest that the letters should be signed Yours faithfully?
  • Rob
    Probably worth a mention somewhere in this article, and maybe in the template letters too if you like that this matter can be reported to Trading Standards whom are the enforcement authority for the DSR's.
  • Richard
    I recently wished to use DSR to cancel an item purchased on eBay. However although the item was in th UK the seller was a Chinese based seller. Is it true that DSR is not applicable here?
  • TimB
    So if they sent the wrong items, why was he relying on the DSR's? Surely he should have used SOGA, which would have allowed him to claim the cost of return postage too?
  • Len D.
    You are right about the return postage but the DSR tend just to be easier to use than SOGA. In any event, this matter is still ongoing! We are looking in to this further as Barclaycard cannot recover the money.

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