Distance Contract

A distance contract is a contract between a professional and a consumer, for the provision of a service or goods. A distance contract may be concluded by any means (by telephone, e-mail, catalogue, etc.) which do not require the simultaneous physical presence of the parties to the contract.
In Italy this contract is regulated by the Consumption Code at articles 50 and followings.

These rules do not apply to contracts:

-relating to financial services;

-concluded by means of automatic vending machines or automated commercial premises;

-concluded with telecommunications operators through the use of public telephones;

-relating to immobile property, except for rental;

-concluded at an auction.

The professional must provide clear and comprehensible information to the consumer, in good time prior to the conclusion of the contract. They must give due regard to the principles of good faith in commercial transactions and the protection of persons who are unable to give their consent (such as minors).

Pre-contractual information includes, as a minimum:
- the identity and possibly the address of the supplier;

-the characteristics of the goods or services and their price including all taxes;

-delivery costs;

-the arrangements for payment, delivery or performance of the contract;

-the existence of a right of withdrawal;

-the period for which the offer or the price remains valid and possibly the minimum duration of the contract;

-the cost of using the means of distance communication, where it is calculated other than at the base rate.

The professional must provide written confirmation of the pre-contractual information (or on another durable medium, such as electronic mail) at the time of performance of the contract or at the latest during delivery of the goods if they are being sent directly to the consumer.
After signing the contract, the supplier has thirty days in which to perform the contract. If the goods or service ordered are not available, the consumer shall be reimbursed within 30 days. However, if the contract provides for this possibility, the supplier may procure goods or services of an equivalent quality and price to the original order.