Most products sold by distance sales are subject to a 14-day cancellation period, within which the consumer may cancel the purchase for no particular reason. The cancellation period may be extended if the consumer has not been provided with information on the terms and conditions of cancellation or the fact that a purchase was subject to a charge. If a consumer cancels the sales contract, then any credit, insurance or other agreement (e.g. installation agreement) related to it is also cancelled.
There are limitations to the right of cancellation also in distance sales, so you should read the contract terms especially if you are not quite certain whether the product you are buying is suited to its intended purpose.
The way in which the 14-day period is calculated and the right to cancel are dependent on whether the purchase is related to physical goods, a service agreement or a digital service.
The 14-day cancellation period begins upon receipt of the goods ordered (or the final instalment of goods ordered). If the contract relates to regular deliveries of goods, the cancellation period is calculated from the receipt of the first instalment.
The cancellation right does not apply to every product, for example products that are manufactured or modified according to the consumer’s wishes, CDs and DVDs delivered in a sealed package or hygiene products.
The 14-day cancellation period begins from the time at which the agreement was finalised.
Right of cancellation exists even if service provision began upon the consumer's request before the cancellation period ended.
- If service provision has begun and the service is subsequently cancelled, the consumer must pay the company reasonable compensation, calculated in proportion to the overall price of the agreement.
- If the service has already been provided in full and the consumer has been informed of a lack of cancellation right, the cancellation right does not exist. In the case of broadband or pay TV services, for example, the service is not completely delivered until the contract comes to an end. The service is not considered to be completely delivered when the connection for the service is made.
In service contracts, the right of cancellation does not refer to all services, such as accommodation or goods delivery or car rental agreed upon for a specific period. A cancellation period for such services may, however, be specified.
The 14-day cancellation period begins from the time at which the agreement concerning the digital content was finalised.
- The electronic delivery of digital content comprises the provision of data through digital download or streaming, for example in the form of software, applications, games, music, video (e.g. pay-per-view rights for sporting events) or text (e.g. the right to access a digital newspaper issue).
- The electronic delivery of digital content does not include the delivery of digital content on memory or storage devices such as a CD or DVD.
The consumer loses the right to cancel the purchase if the delivery of the digital content was started during the cancellation period with the consumer’s consent and the consumer was informed of the loss of the cancellation right.
Cancellation right in distance sales
Examining and trying out the goods
Notice of cancellation