In online shopping and telephone and mail order sales, the consumer usually has the right to inspect the product for a period of 14 days after receipt and cancel the transaction without needing to provide a reason. However, as the right of cancellation in online shopping has certain product-specific restrictions and the return policies of different stores may vary, be sure to read the terms and conditions of order before buying. Read more tips about your rights and obligations when returning goods purchased online.
The buyer usually pays the return costs
When returning products purchased from an online store, you must pay the return costs unless the store has stated that it offers free returns. You are also not liable to pay the return costs if the store has failed to state in advance of the purchase that the consumer is liable for the costs or, if the return cannot be made by regular means by mail, specified the amount of costs. Be sure to always check the online store’s returns policy from the terms and conditions of order.
A separate cancellation notice is required
Purchases must be cancelled either by submitting a cancellation form provided by the company or by some other unambiguous manner. If necessary, you must provide proof that a notice of cancellation has been performed. The goods must be returned in accordance with the instructions for returns issued by the online store. Read the online store’s instructions for returns before sending back the goods. Simply mailing back the goods or failing to collect them in the first place is not sufficient.
The right of cancellation in online shopping does not apply to all goods
Most goods in online shopping have a right of withdrawal of 14 days, but exceptions include products made to order and goods delivered in sealed packaging which, for health or hygiene reasons, cannot be returned after the packaging has been opened. These include contact lenses, moisturising creams and medications. Flights and event tickets may also not be cancelled unless expressly agreed in the terms and conditions of order. The cooling-off period is calculated from the receipt of the goods or the final batch of the goods. Goods purchased in-store do not usually have a right of cancellation unless separately offered by the seller.
In case of problems in online shopping, take immediate action
If the delivery of a product is delayed or it arrives in defective condition or is undelivered, you should first contact the seller to resolve the matter. If the delivery is delayed, you must allow additional time for the delivery. If the product remains undelivered after a further period, the purchase may be cancelled. If the seller is unresponsive to the complaint and you have paid your purchases with a credit card, you can contact the credit provider to have your money refunded. You may also be able to request a chargeback on debit card payments if your card issuer's terms and conditions provide for this.
The Consumer Advisory Service will assist you in online shopping issues (www.kuluttajaneuvonta.fi). The European Consumer Centre Finland will provide assistance with purchases made in Europe (www.ecc.fi)