Advantages of using an eSignature solution to comply with the EU Directive on consumer rights

Posted by media on March 16, 2015 at 9:34 AM

The Directive 2011/83/EU of the European Parliament on consumer rights, commonly known as EU’s Consumer Law, is a mandatory regulation for companies who require their clients to sign distance contracts.

In this post, we will focus on some of its requirements and how the use of Signaturit’s electronic signature solution not only complies with the law, but also allows companies to streamline their contract management by bringing it into the digital space.

This post is also available in Spanish

Contract signature requirements in remote transactions

The ultimate objective of European regulation on consumer rights is to achieve a real internal B2C market, striking the right balance between a high level of consumer protection and the competitiveness of enterprises.

One of the aspects subject to significant changes from the previous regulation are the requirements to conclude distance and off-premises contracts.

Or, in layman´s words, any contract signed remotely for goods or services by a consumer, whether it´s online, mail, phone, fax, or after a visit from a sales representative.

There are three particular requirements that we would like to highlight:

  • First, the law requires the company to
provide comprehensive information to the consumer prior to signing the contract. While the previous regulation was more vague in that regard, now consumers can make a contract void for which they didn’t know in advance what company was on the other end of the transaction, its price, conditions, etc.

Companies need solutions that deliver transparency through the signing process. This is one of Signaturit’s strong points, as both the sender and the signer receive the full contract by email. That is a far more unambiguous process compared to listening to a recorded speech or receiving its terms and conditions via SMS.

  • Second, the Consumer Law establishes new requirements for concluding a contract. Among them, companies now have to provide consumers with a written copy of a contract in a durable format even when it was approved over the phone. This is particularly relevant for telecommunications, energy and water supply companies.

Again, Signaturit provides an excellent solution give the new regulation that also paves the way for an increased efficiency. Requesting a signature and providing one with our platform couldn’t be easier. The signer receives an email with a Start signing button and can sign with the finger or the mouse either through a smartphone, a tablet, a laptop or a desktop computer to complete the process in a matter of seconds.

  • Last but not least, the new law also establishes new requirements on the availability of distance and off-premises contracts to consumers. The regulation is unbendable: after having a contract signed, the company needs to provide the consumer with a copy in a durable format and within a reasonable timespan.

Signaturit is also ready for that challenge, as we automatically provide all the parties involved in a signing request with an electronic copy of the contract and documentary proof of all electronic evidence generated throughout the process.  

Risks of violating the EU’s Consumer Law

After reviewing the main requirements of the regulation for which Signaturit offers a user-friendly, comprehensive solution, it is worth highlighting the many risks of breaking the law.

At the top of the list, any consumer can void a contract if a company does not meet any of the law's requirements, even when the service has already been provided and the cost has been incurred.

Besides that, the law also establishes that companies are liable for proving that they did not violate consumer rights. In that regard, Signaturit offers an added-value solution, as we assume the burden of proof as intermediaries in the signing process in case of dispute.  

Final remarks

Although some sectors are not affected by this law for having specific regulations (for example, banks), most industries are subject to the Consumer Law: telecommunications operators, water or energy suppliers, media groups, retail companies, etc.

Signaturit provides companies in all those industries with a solution compliant with the EU Consumer Law regardless of the signing process: be it by email, web, app or through a mobile-enhanced visit by a sales representative.

 
Don’t wait any longer and try Signaturit for free.

This post is also available in Spanish

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Topics: Electronic Signature

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