There is a wide range of EU legislation that impacts the direct marketing sector in Belgium. Compliance requirements are the stiffest for marketing to private consumers. Companies need to focus, in particular, on the clarity and completeness of the information they provide to consumers prior to purchase, and on their approaches to collecting and using customer data. The EU’s Directive on distance selling to consumers (97/7/EC) set out a number of obligations for companies engaged in direct marketing. It can read like a set of onerous "do’s" and "don’ts," but in many ways it represents nothing more than a customer relations good practice guide with legal effect. Direct marketers must provide clear information on the identity of themselves as well as their supplier, full details on prices including delivery costs, and the period for which an offer remains valid – all of this, of course, before a contract is concluded. Customers generally have the right to return goods without any required explanation within seven days, and retain the right to compensation for faulty goods thereafter.
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