On June 23rd the European Parliament took a final vote on the Consumer Rights Directive, which will increase the consumer rights buying through direct selling (away from business premises) and through distance selling. The last formal approval by the Council of Ministers is expected to take place in July. Member States will have a maximum of two years to implement the new rules.
The most important changes related with consumers’ rights and responsibilities:
- After purchasing through direct selling (off-premises) or through distance selling (online, by phone, e-mail) the consumer will be able to withdraw from a contract within 14 days after delivery of good.
- For consumers who returned goods, the money shall be returned within 14 days from the date of withdrawal.
- If ordered goods are not delivered within 30 days, the buyer has the right to cancel the purchase.
- If the seller does not inform the consumer of the right to withdraw from the contract, the withdrawal period is extended up to one year.
- Seller is responsible for loss or damage during shipping.
- Seller will have to write the final purchase price. Will be prohibited automatically in advance to put the ticks on the additionally taxable services.
- The consumer pays the cost of return. In case of the acquisition of large-size items (sofa, fridge), the return policy must be clearly defined at the time of payment.
- For digital goods (music, movies, programs) withdrawal rules is not applicable: the digital content is considered purchased after it is started downloading.
- Withdrawal rules do not apply to special-order manufactured goods – clothing, furniture and so on.
- In case of refusal of ordered services, consumer will have to pay for part of the job already done. For example, that within a few days changing mind regarding the divorce the lawyer would be paid for work already done.