I bought an item from an online store in the UK and imported it to EU. The UK shop did not deduct taxes, and I had to pay the import fee + my own country's taxes (calculated on the price containing UK tax) when receiving the item.

I contacted the UK shop to at least get a refund of the UK taxes. To my understanding a customer only pays tax to one country.

To receive a refund from the shop, they are asking me to send my customs documents via social media as they don't accept attachments in e-mails.

Is it legal for a shop in the UK to only provide customer service via social media? (Whatsapp/FB/Twitter) The shop does have physical shops in the UK.

  • 1
    If they were only using physical mail for communication (even though selling stuff online), would you also question that?
    – Greendrake
    Jul 17, 2021 at 13:08
  • 2
    If the business has physical shops in the UK, they arent exactly just providing customer service via social media….
    – user28517
    Jul 17, 2021 at 22:40

2 Answers 2


It is not legal in the case of a company. They must also accept communications by post.

In the UK, "a company must at all times have a registered office to which all communications and notices may be addressed." (s 86, Companies Act 2006). It must display the address of its registered office on its website, business letters, and order forms (r 25, Company, Limited Liability Partnership and Business (Names and Trading Disclosures) Regulations 2015). It must also disclose the address to you if you ask for it in writing (r 27). A failure to do either of these is a criminal offence (r 28).

As a practical matter you can also look up the address yourself on the Companies House register if you know the name or registered number of the company. The company must provide you with its registered name on all forms of business correspondence (r 24) (this is a wider definition than that for disclosure of its registered office address).

A company cannot rely on the fact that the registered office address it has given to Companies House is out of date. It must continue to accept communications at any address on the register for 14 days after it notifies Companies House of any change. (s 87, Companies Act 2006).



If the ToS prescribe that you can only contact them on the first Tuesday of months with “r” in the name between 10:00 and 10:05 am, that would be valid too.

In the absence of a law that prohibits this (which AFAIK, there isn't) a company can set the methods and hours of contact as they wish.

  • 2
    This may not be true, if the country you're in has unwaivable consumer rights protections. For instance, Australia's consumer rights laws forced Valve to add refunds on Steam, after they were fined millions of dollars for their breach of those laws by not allowing refunds.
    – nick012000
    Jul 18, 2021 at 1:20
  • 1
    This is not correct for the UK. See my answer.
    – JBentley
    Jul 19, 2021 at 13:50

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .