Withdrawing and returning telemarketing purchases

Most telemarketing purchases can be witdrawn within 14 days. During this period, you may withdraw the purchase without a specific reason.

The calculation of the 14-day withdrawal period and the right to withdraw depend on what the contract concerns: the purchase of goods, services or digital content. The withdrawal period may be longer if you have not been informed of the conditions of the right to withdraw or the fact that you have to pay for your purchase.

If you withdraw a contract, any credit, insurance or other contract (such as installation contract) associated with it will also be withdrawn.

  • The 14-day withdrawal period begins when the goods you ordered are delivered or you receive the last batch of goods. If a contract involves the regular delivery of goods, the withdrawal period begins when you have received the first batch.

    The right to withdraw does not apply to the following:

    • audio or video recordings or computer software that have been delivered in sealed packaging, including sealed CDs/DVDs, after the packaging has been opened.
    • goods delivered in a sealed package which cannot be returned for health or hygiene reasons when the package has been opened.
    • 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 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.
    • delivery of a single newspaper, magazine or journal. If the order concerns a subscription contract (an ongoing or fixed-term contract), you have a right to withdraw.
  • You usually have the right to withdraw service contracts within 14 days. This period is calculated from the day on which the service contract was concluded.

    Even if you asked the company to start providing the service before the end of the withdrawal period, your right to withdraw still applies. If the company has started providing the service and you withdraw it, you will have to pay the company reasonable compensation, which is calculated as a share of the total price.

    You do not have to pay for a service that the company provided partly or in full during the cancellation period if the company started providing it during the cancellation period without your specific request, or if the company did not inform you of the conditions for using your right to cancel or having to pay compensation if you withdraw.

    The right of withdrawal does not apply to:

    • service that has been fully performed upon your express request and you have also accepted that you will lose your right to withdraw once the service has been completed. In such contracts as broadband or pay-TV subscriptions, however, the service will only have been provided fully when the contract expires, rather than when the connection has been set up for you to use the service.
    • urgent repairs or maintenance on a site to which the company comes at your request, for example if you ask the company to repair a leaking pipe.
    • accommodation services, including a hotel room or a holiday cottage. However, the withdrawal period of these services may be set down in the contract terms.
    • transport of goods or car hire agreed for a specific period. However, the withdrawal period for these services may be set down in the contract terms.
    • restaurant or leisure services that have been agreed for a specific period. Leisure services include entertainment, cultural and sports events, courses related to pastimes and equipment rentals for leisure activities. However, the withdrawal period for these services may be set down in the contract terms.
  • The 14-day withdrawal period is calculated from the day on which the contract concerning digital content is concluded.

    Electronic delivery of digital content means information delivered in a digital format by downloading, streaming or otherwise, including computer software, applications, games, music, video (such as viewing rights to sports events) or text (including the right to read a digital paper or magazine). Delivering digital content on memory devices or storage media, including CDs or DVDs, is not considered electronic delivery of digital content.

    You have no obligation to pay for a 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 told that you do not have the right to withdraw.
    • you did not receive a confirmation of your order (the concluded contract).

    You do not have the right to withdraw the purchase if you agreed to starting the electronic delivery of digital content before the end of the withdrawal period and you were told that you do not have the right to withdraw.

Extension of withdrawal period

If you were not informed of the conditions for using your right to withdraw, your right to withdraw the purchase is extended to 12 months from the end of the normal withdrawal period. If the trader later provides the missing information, the withdrawal period ends 14 days after the day on which you received it.

Written confirmation in telemarketing

Starting from the beginning of 2023, a written confirmation will be required for the conclusion of a contract in telemarketing. If you have not accepted the trader’s offer after the telephone conversation in a lasting manner, you will not be bound by the contract and you may not be required to pay, return the product, store the product or take any other action. The offer can be submitted in paper form or electronically, for example to your e-mail address or personal customer folder so that you receive the offer personally after the telephone conversation. You must have an effective opportunity to save and copy the offer.

However, a written confirmation is not required if you have contacted the trader yourself or the trader has contacted you at your express request. Written confirmation is also not required for telemarketing of electronic communications services, such as telephone or Internet plans.

Notice of withdrawal

You must give the trader a notice of withdrawal at the latest 14 days after you have received the goods or concluded the contract. If the last day of the withdrawal period is a Saturday or a holiday, a notice of withdrawal may be given on the first working day following that date.

If no detailed information on the date on which the notice of withdrawal was received is available,
a notification sent by post is regarded as having been received by the company on the seventh day following the day on which it was sent, and a notification sent electronically is regarded as having been received on the day it was sent.

You may have to prove that you notified the trader of the withdrawal. You also have the right to notify the trader of the withdrawal before the goods are delivered.

You can send the notice of withdrawal using:

  • a withdrawal form provided by the company.
  • a freely worded notice, including an e-mail or a notice sent with the goods you return.
  • on the company’s website, if the company offers this possibility. If the notice of withdrawal can be given on the company’s website, you have the right to receive an acknowledgement of your notice without delay and in a permanent format, for example by e-mail.

Examining and trying out the goods

If you withdraw your purchase and wish to have the full payment refunded, you must ensure that the goods you received have not been essentially changed or reduced in volume. You can usually open or undo the packaging if you wish to check the characteristics and functioning of the goods in the same way as you would in a shop.

If you start using the goods and then wish to withdraw the purchase, you will be liable for the diminished value of the product. If the goods have been substantially changed or reduced, the company is entitled to charge an amount that corresponds to the lower value of the goods. If the goods have been used and they cannot be resold for this reason, the company may refuse to give you any refund at all.

You are not responsible for any decrease in the value of goods if the seller did not inform you of the conditions, time limit and procedures for exercising the right of withdrawal before you made the contract.

Returning goods and refunds

You must return the goods at the latest 14 days after you gave the notice of withdrawal to the trader. You may also have to prove that the goods were returned within this time limit, for example by means of a return receipt.

You must pay for any costs of returning the goods if the company has not agreed to cover them. You do not have to pay the cost of returning the goods if, before you placed the order, the seller did not tell you that you will be responsible for paying these costs or inform you of the amount of such costs in cases where the goods cannot be returned by post as usual.

The company must refund any payments you made without delay and at the latest 14 days after receiving the notice of withdrawal. The company does not have to refund you before the goods have been returned or you have shown that you have returned the goods, for example by means of a return receipt.

If you have chosen some other method of delivery than the least expensive one, for example express delivery, the company does not have to refund the extra costs caused by this.

If the company does not refund you at the latest within14 days after receiving the notice of withdrawal or the goods, you are entitled to overdue interest.

When refunding you, the company must use the same method of payment you used when you made the payment. For example, if you used online banking, the amount must be returned to the bank account indicated by you. Similarly, a credit card payment is refunded to the card in question. If the company does not have your account number it can, for example, use a payment order to refund you. The payment may be refunded using other methods, such as a gift voucher, only if you agree to it. The company may not charge you for any costs related to refunding you.

If the company does not refund you at the latest within 14 days after receiving the notice of withdrawal and you used a credit card to pay for the purchase, you can contact the credit card company to ask for your refund.

Creditor’s and operator’s responsibility

If you pay with a credit card, you can always also ask the creditor for a refund. For example, you can turn to the creditor if the company does not deliver your purchase, you have been billed incorrectly for your purchase, or the product has a defect for which the trader is liable and the company refuses to compensate you. The creditor has no obligation to refund a sum larger than the one paid to the credit card company.

If you have a combined debit/credit card and you used the debit card, you may ask the credit card company to refund you for the purchases you paid for with the card if the company has agreed to do so in the terms and conditions of the card or otherwise.

If your purchase has been added to the bill for your subscription, you can always ask for a refund not only from the trader or the service provider but also your operator. For example, you can contact the operator if the company does not deliver your purchase, you have been billed incorrectly for your purchase, or the product has a defect for which the seller is liable and the company refuses to compensate you. The creditor has no obligation to refund a sum larger than the one paid to the credit card company.

If the dispute cannot be resolved, you can contact the Consumer Advisory Services.

The Com­plaint As­sis­tant – Prob­lems with the right of can­cel­la­tion and re­fund of pay­ment in the sale of goods

You can use this assistant to issue a complaint to the seller if the cancellation has not been successful or your money has not been refunded.

The Complaint Assistant