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Refusal of Distance selling regulations. Looking for clarity. @Argos_Online


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My father purchased a £500 iPhone for my mother, he did this on the argos website and paid at the time of order with his debit card. 

phone was collected the following day. 

After assessing it for around a few hours, my mother wasn’t happy with it. 

I have tried to return the phone under the CCR regulations, specifically distance selling

this has been refused. I have escalated to customer service and been told firstly I can’t return it under distance selling because it’s been opened…. And then told after that electrical goods of any kind are exempt from the distance selling laws. 

I’ve also been told by the store manager that upon presenting my order number in store I could have asked the staff member to open the item so I could inspect it and then refuse it. 

surely that means though I could just reserve an item everyday for the next year, and then go into store and ask them to open it, breaking the seal etc and then refusing it? If everyone done that, they wouldn’t have a business. 

I guess I’m just looking for absolute confirmation from someone in the know or who has been through the same, if I purchased the item online, and paid for it online but then collected from store, does this still fall under the distance selling laws?


it’s a David vs Goliath and I’m struggling to keep going, but I’m trying to hang in there. 

I’d just like to know for sure before I properly take up the fight. 

im really grateful to anyone who can provide any help or advice. 

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From having a read of the site before I joined, I genuinely hoped that you would reply to my post. Lol. 

you seem very knowledgeable. 

argos’s current stance was that yes it was paid for at distance and not in a physical store and I couldn’t inspect before purchase, but had the opportunity to ask to do so when collecting. 

not to anger you, and I’m sure you’re right….

you’ve seen a few of these before, and paying and then collecting in store would absolutely still qualify as a distance sale and be subject to the distance selling rules

thank you for your help.

I really appreciate it. 


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Thanks again for your help and knowledge with this. 

I did go above him, or I guess it was.

I spoke with the customer service team who were the ones that told me it wouldn’t be returnable under distance selling because it had been opened, and who also stated electrical items are exempt from distance selling

I’ll have a go at the CEO and see where that gets me. 

really appreciate your help. 

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being the stresser that I am, I’ve tried to get as many viewpoints as I can.

I’m pretty dismayed with one I’ve received on Reddit, whereby someone thought I had a good case, but have now backtracked, and gave some Argos terms and conditions which have me worried. 

They firstly wrote to my query… 

OP, this is a straightforward cancellation under the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013, which replaced the Distance Selling Regulations. That you picked it up from an Argos store is irrelevant - it was a distance contract because you didn't get to inspect the goods before making the purchase.

As your parents cancelled the contract within 14 days of taking possession of the item, by bringing it back to the shop, they do not need to prove that there is anything wrong with it at all. The 14-day window for a refund technically started on the day you (tried) to return it. However, as it is on you to show that you cancelled it, I suggest you do so in writing to Argos.

Please also complain to trading standards (you must use the Citizens Advice Bureau to do this now) about Argos's behaviour - we see this problem here on a regular basis.

he has then since came back with this…

In the Regulations, reg 5 provides that "distance contract" means:

a contract concluded between a trader and a consumer under an organised distance sales or service-provision scheme without the simultaneous physical presence of the trader and the consumer, with the exclusive use of one or more means of distance communication up to and including the time at which the contract is concluded;

Argos's terms and conditions say that the contract is not concluded until the goods which you have already paid for have been collected (clause 2.3).

Depending on how "collected" is interpreted, this may not be a distance contract after all, because the contract was not "concluded between a trader and a consumer ... without the simultaneous physical presence of the trader and the consumer," and there was not "the exclusive use of one or more means of distance communication up to and including the time at which the contract is concluded".

Argos's position would be that you could have arrived at the front counter, had the iPhone brought to you, inspected it, and decided not to take it. That would have meant that the order was not "collected", so the contract was not concluded - there was no contract.

At the point you decide to accept the iPhone, the item is "collected" and the contract is concluded - but as this was on their premises, it cannot be distance selling within the meaning of the Regulations.

I must admit, it's a new one - I can't find mention of them adopting this position successfully anywhere online but I'm afraid it is fairly legally compelling.

To counter this, you would need to try and show that the term around when the contract is concluded is a sham or unenforceable term, or more likely unfair, but even with the considerable leeway afforded to consumers in consumer contracts, you may struggle to defeat privity of contract.

I think go back to trading standards and see where you can get.


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I purchased the phone last Sunday evening, online, and paid online. 

it was collected in store on the Monday afternoon, and then the return was attempted the following day, the Tuesday. 

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