Right of withdrawal in e-commerce

Most products purchased online have a 14-day right of withdrawal during which you can cancel your purchase for no special reason. If you cancel an online store order, the credit, insurance, or other agreement associated with the cancelled order will be cancelled. The content of the cancellation right and the moment from which the withdrawal period begins depends on whether you have purchased goods, services, or digital content.

 

Right of withdrawal when buying goods online

  • You must make a notification of the cancellation within 14 days of the receipt of the goods.

  • You must pay the return costs yourself, except for

    • if the vendor has committed to doing so, or
    • if, prior to placement of the order, the vendor has not told you that you will be responsible for paying any return costs as well as the amount of such costs in cases where it is not possible to return the goods by mail in a normal manner.
  • However, the vendor may refrain from returning the money until they have received the goods, or you can prove with, e.g., a return receipt that you have sent the goods.

Right of withdrawal when buying services online

Your online purchase may sometimes include both services and goods. The start date of the withdrawal period and your other rights related to the right of withdrawal are determined by the main purpose of the agreement.

For example, if you purchase a computer with deployment installation service, it is considered a purchase of goods if the main purpose of the purchase is to acquire a computer, and if the value of the computer is proportionally higher than the value of the deployment installation service. In this case, the withdrawal period is calculated from the receipt of the goods.

 

  • You may request that the company perform the service during the valid withdrawa period, but you may have to pay a reasonable compensation for the service if you exercise your right of withdrawal.

  • If you notify the company of the cancellation of the service during the withdrawal period, you can demand the company to repay all the fees you have paid if the service has not been completed at your request.

    If you cancel a service that has been started at your request

    • you will have to pay a reasonable compensation for the costs incurred by the service until the notice of withdrawal was given.
    • you will have to pay for the service in its entirety if the service has been fully completed during the withdrawal period and the vendor has told you about the loss of the right of withdrawal before concluding the agreement.
    • you do not have to pay the costs of cancellation if the service has not yet been completed during the cancellation period.
  • The vendor must return your payment at the latest within 14 days after receiving your notice of withdrawal.

    The vendor may deduct a sum corresponding to the value of the service provided at your request, which is calculated as a relative share of the total agreement price.

    The vendor must return your money in full

    • if the service has not yet been performed during the withdrawal period.
    • if they have not stated the terms and conditions related to the exercise of the right of withdrawal or the liability related to the cancellation.

Right of withdrawal when buying digital content online

In addition to goods and services, you can purchase digital content from an online store. If the digital content is delivered to you electronically, the content of your right of withdrawal differs from your rights with goods and services.

  • Electronic delivery of digital content refers to digital data delivered by downloading, produced or delivered by streaming. These include computer software, applications, games, music, videos (e.g., the right to view a sports event) or text (e.g., the right to read a digital copy of a newspaper).
  • Digital content can also be delivered to you on a memory or storage device (e.g., CD or DVD) instead of being delivered electronically by downloading or streaming, for example. If the digital content is delivered to you on a memory or storage device, it is considered a purchase of goods and the content of your right of withdrawal is the same as in a purchase of goods.
  • You must notify the vendor of the withdrawal within 14 days of the conclusion of the agreement.

  • You lose your right of withdrawal

    • if you give explicit prior consent that the content you have purchased will be delivered to you before the withdrawal period ends
    • if the vendor has stated before the conclusion of the agreement that giving consent will result in the loss of the right of withdrawal.
  • You have the right to get your money back for partly or fully delivered digital content service if:

    • the delivery of digital content was started during the withdrawal period even though you had not agreed to this.
    • you were not informed of the loss of the right of withdrawal.

How do I cancel an online purchase?

If you wish to cancel your online purchase, you must inform the vendor in a clear manner at the latest within 14 days of the receipt of the goods or the conclusion of the agreement. You do not need to explain why you want to exercise your right of withdrawal.

It is no longer sufficient to only return a product or not retrieve it from a post office. The consumer may have to prove that they have notified the vendor. You may also notify the vendor of the withdrawal before the goods are delivered.

You can give the cancellation notification in some of the following ways

  • the company’s cancellation form
  • a freely worded notice, including an e-mail or a notice sent with the goods you are returning
  • on the company’s website if the company offers the possibility. If the notice of withdrawal can be given on the company’s website, the consumer has the right to receive an acknowledgement of the notice without delay. The information must be provided in a permanent format, for example by e-mail.

Which products does the cancellation right not apply to?

Not all online purchases can be cancelled. However, the vendor may not restrict the right of on grounds other than those based on the law .

PLEASE NOTE! In addition to those mentioned below, there are certain products that are subject to different online commerce rules than the rules that apply to online commerce in general. Such products include passenger tickets to which the cancellation right of purchases made through distance selling does not apply. The distance selling of financial services, on the other hand, is subject to its own rights that differ from other distance selling. Financial services include credits, insurances, and investment services.

  • You do not have the right to cancel an online purchase if:

    • the agreement applies to goods manufactured or modified in accordance with your requirements, or that are clearly adapted to your personal needs, such as made-to-measure curtains or goods that have been engraved or labelled.
      • The loss of the cancellation right does not apply to products that are equivalent to standard goods and the modification of which you can affect only minorly, for example, a separately ordered couch that you have selected from a basic selection of colours and materials.
    • the agreement applies to goods that have a short shelf life or which, due to their nature, have become inseparably mixed with other goods after delivery, e.g., foodstuff that spoils quickly, heating oil or soil that has already been spread in a garden.
    • you have opened a sealed item that cannot be returned for health or hygiene reasons, e.g., contact lenses, moisturising creams, and pharmaceuticals.
      • If you have not opened the product, you can cancel the purchase.
    • the agreement applies to alcoholic beverages the price of which has been agreed at the time of the conclusion of the agreement, and which can be delivered no earlier than 30 days and whose actual value depends on market fluctuations beyond the trader’s control.
    • a sealed audio or video recording or computer program has been opened.
    • the agreement applies to delivery of single volumes of newspapers, magazines, or journals. It is irrelevant on whose initiative the agreement has been concluded.
      • If the order concerns a subscription agreement of a newspaper or a magazine (an ongoing or fixed-term agreement), you have the right to cancel.
    • the agreement has been concluded in an auction in which you can participate with a non-remote medium, such as public auctions, where you can also participate personally on the location.
      • If it is an online only auction, you have the right to cancel.
    • the price of a consumer product depends on fluctuations of the financial markets that cannot be controlled by the trader and that may occur during the cancellation period, e.g., precious metals.
  • You do not have the right to cancel an online purchase if:

    • you have ordered a service that has already been fully completed
      • because you explicitly requested that the service be performed already during the cancellation period, AND
      • the vendor told you in advance that you would lose your cancellation right in this case.
        • If you cancel an agreement after the service has started, you will have to pay the vendor a reasonable compensation for the costs that the vendor has already incurred from fulfilling the agreement before the vendor received your notice of cancellation.
    • the agreement applies to urgent repairs or maintenance on a site to which the trader comes at your request, for example if you ask the trader to repair a leaking pipe in your house.
    • the agreement applies to
      • providing accommodation for purposes other than housing
      • transport of goods
      • car rental
      • restaurant services or
        leisure services, AND
      • the agreement requires payment at a specified time or within a specified period of time.

    Leisure services include entertainment, cultural and sports events, courses related to pastimes and equipment rental.

  • You do not have the right to cancel an online purchase if you have ordered digital content the electronical delivery of which has been started

    • before the end of the cancellation period because you gave your consent to this, AND
    • the vendor told you in advance that you would lose your cancellation right in this case.

     

     

The Cancellation Right Assistant