Withdrawing and returning purchases in door-to-door sales

In door-to-door sales, most purchases can be withdrawn within 14 days. During this period, you may withdraw the purchase without a specific reason. The calculation of the withdrawal period and the right to withdraw depend on what the contract concerns: the purchase of goods or provision of services.

  • The 14-day withdrawal period begins when you receive the goods, or the last batch of goods. If the deliveries of goods are regular, the withdrawal period is 14 days from the day on which you received the first batch.

    The right of withdrawal does not apply to the following:

    • goods produced or modified to your specific requirements or needs, for example goods that have been engraved or personalised. If the product cannot be resold to someone else without significant losses, you do not have the right to withdraw.
    • goods that have a short shelf life or which, due to their nature, have become inseparably mixed with other goods after delivery (for example, a load of soil that has already been spread in the garden).
    • goods delivered in a sealed package which cannot be returned for health or hygiene reasons when the package has been opened.
  • The 14 day withdrawal period is calculated from the day on which the service contract was concluded. Even if you had asked the company to start providing the service before the end of the withdrawal period, your right of withdrawal still applies.

    If the company has started providing the service during the withdrawal period and you decide to withdraw it, you must pay the company a reasonable compensation. This compensation is calculated as a proportion of the total contract price.

    If the company started providing the service during the withdrawal period even if you did not ask for it or were not informed of it, you do not have to pay for the service performed during the withdrawal period.

    The right of withdrawal does not apply in cases where, for example, the service has been provided in full at your specific request and you have been told that you do not have the right of withdrawal.

  • If the contract concerns both goods and services, the key factor is its main purpose. A contract is regarded as a sales contract on goods if its main purpose is to transfer ownership of the goods and the value of the goods is higher than the value of the work, for example in a contract on the purchase of a fitted kitchen which includes the installation work.

Notice of withdrawal in door-to-door sales

You can withdraw the purchase without specifying a reason during the withdrawal period. Just returning the goods is not enough, however. You must also give a notice of withdrawal using the form provided by the trader or, for example, by e-mail. The trader must give you a withdrawal form and other instructions for withdrawing the purchase before the contract is concluded. You may have to prove that you have given the trader a notice of withdrawal.

Extension of the withdrawal period

If the pre-contractual information provided by the trader did not contain the conditions, time limit and procedures for exercising the right of withdrawal, the withdrawal period ends 12 months after the end of the standard withdrawal period. If the trader later provides the missing information, the withdrawal period ends 14 days after the day on which you received it.

Withdrawal after the withdrawal period or when the right of withdrawal does not apply

In principle, contracts are binding on both parties. You can withdraw an order for goods or services before they are delivered even if the right of withdrawal does not apply, but this is a breach of contract. This does not mean, however, that the trader has the right to insist on the contract and demand that you pay the purchasing price, but the trader has a right to be compensated for their losses.

Returning goods

If you withdraw a door-to-door sales contract, you must return the goods without delay and at the latest 14 days after giving the trader a notice of withdrawal, unless the trader has agreed to collect the goods.

You must pay for the direct costs of returning the goods you bought through door-to-door sales, unless the seller has agreed to cover them. However, if the goods were delivered to your home when the contract was concluded and they cannot be easily returned by post because of their nature (including size or weight), the trader must collect them at their expense.

Refunds

The seller must reimburse your payment without delay and at the latest 14 days after receiving the notice of withdrawal. The refund does not include any additional costs you had to pay for a delivery method chosen by you, other than the least expensive method offered by the trader.

However, unless the trader is responsible for collecting the goods, they have the right to refuse to refund your payment until they have received the returned goods, or until you have provided proof of having returned the goods, for example by means of a return receipt.