You have certainly already experienced that one or the other purchase decision does not correspond to the satisfaction of your customers . Whether the wrong size, color or material, the causes for this are very different in nature. If one of your customers decides against the purchase in good time, you are encouraged to reimburse the total amount in full under certain conditions. Here is the language of the withdrawal . You can find everything you need to know about the right of withdrawal here:
Definition of revocation
As part of the revocation, consumers are entitled to legally withdraw declarations of intent made within the framework of a consumer contract . After that, you and your customer are no longer bound by the agreed obligations.
What is the right of withdrawal?
According to abbreviationfinder.org, the right of withdrawal is a declaration of withdrawal after the conclusion of the contract by the consumer. Compliance with a certain period applies to their full legal effectiveness . The right of withdrawal embodies a unilateral consumer right and therefore does not require your consent. The legal basis for the successful implementation of the right of withdrawal is §355 BGB .
What are the deadlines for revocation?
Since mid-2014, the deadlines for a legally effective revocation have been uniformly regulated for the entire EU . The 14-day right of return is now a standard across Europe. In general, the cancellation period begins with receipt of the contract documents or on the day of the cancellation policy. In practice, this is often the time at which the contract is signed. In the case of orders, the right of withdrawal only begins upon receipt of the goods.
The legal bases are anchored in the revocation BGB § 355. In principle, the deadline for withdrawing from the contract never ends on weekends or public holidays . If the date specified in the calendar falls on such a day, the deadline is automatically extended to the following working day.
If there is no specific regulation regarding the cancellation period, your customers are entitled to cancel the contract within 12 months.
When is there a right of withdrawal?
In principle, consumers are entitled to make a declaration of revocation within the framework of all purchase and insurance contracts. However, in order for you as the provider to be obliged to take back the goods in full, the following requirements must also be met:
- First of all, proof of a legally binding purchase contract must be provided.
- The withdrawal period must be adhered to.
- The revocation must be made in full.
It should also be borne in mind that the right of withdrawal is only applicable to business relationships between entrepreneurs and consumers . This is not applicable to pure business relationships.
Which contracts can be revoked?
If the purchase decision is made spontaneously or without personal presence, the contract can be easily revoked within the specified period. A clear right of withdrawal exists, for example, with these types of contract :
|Form of contract||Description|
|Doorstep selling||– Oral contract conclusion in the private apartment or at the workplace
– The address is surprising – e.g. vacuum cleaner representative, business event
|Distance selling||– Contract without physical presence
– e.g. via the Internet, catalogs, letters, telephone
|Insurance contracts||– Provisions according to insurance law|
|Loan agreement||– Revocation of the loan contract is only possible if it is not notarized and only serves for private purposes (e.g. car purchase)|
|Installment delivery contract||– Several partial deliveries of a similar item
– No cancellation possible for items that belong together, such as individual volumes of a lexicon
|Buy on credit||– Often in combination with a sales contract (kitchen, furniture)|
|Building contracts||– Revocation possible since 2018
– Only for consumer construction contracts, e.g. construction of a building, extensive renovation work on an existing building (age-appropriate renovation)
How does the revocation have to be done?
Until 2014 it was sufficient to send the goods back to the provider without further notification. However, since the legislative reform of that year, the regulations have tightened. Consumers are therefore obliged to add a corresponding letter of revocation to each return .
Written or Oral?
A declaration of revocation must always be made in writing , and not only for reasons of the simplified obligation to provide evidence . Although this requires a certain amount of additional work, it is possible to clearly prove the process later. In order to make the return as customer-friendly as possible, you can provide a right of withdrawal template at the time of purchase.
The information required for such a withdrawal template includes:
- Your company’s address and, if applicable, its contact details
- Buyer’s address
- Date of purchase or time of order
- Exact description of the goods / service
If you decide against a separate form, the Internet offers numerous suggestions for a sample cancellation policy. These withdrawal templates make the process correspondingly easy for your customers. The safest way to send declarations of revocation is by post, by registered mail or fax, including a delivery report. Regardless of which variant is preferred, you should always check whether you have received the declaration of revocation before the deadline has expired.
Does the revocation require a precise justification?
From a legal point of view, consumers are not obliged to state the reasons for their withdrawal. However, so that you, as an entrepreneur, are able to continuously improve service and quality, it can be extremely helpful to know the reason for the withdrawal . Therefore, you ultimately have the option of giving your customers the opportunity to express their motives with the help of a form.
When is a partial revocation possible?
From a partial revocation is talk if only individual components are withdrawn from a total order. This assumes that the individual products can be completely separated from one another. This is important, for example, for a bulk order , the content of which is intended for several people.
If a customer decides to revoke a service while it is being carried out, a proportional compensation for the value must be paid. Its amount depends on the agreed total price of the service. If no corresponding amount has been agreed in advance, the market value is decisive. In addition, there may be expenses for material if this has already been permanently installed. However, if the material has not yet been used, you cannot charge any additional costs.
What happens after a purchase is canceled?
You are not allowed to charge a processing fee or compensation for a cancellation of a sales contract or for the cancellation of a service. The specific measures to be taken after you have given your declaration of revocation depend on the following factors:
|Goods already received||Goods already paid for||Goods already used / damaged|
|The customer may have to bear the costs of the return shipment.||You must provide proof that the return shipment has been initiated||If your customer is responsible for the decrease in value of the goods at the time of the cancellation, you are entitled to demand compensation|
|In door-to-door sales you are obliged to collect the goods||As soon as you have received the goods, the purchase amount must be reimbursed||The purchase price is usually reduced by the depreciation|
|Bulky items must be picked up by you at your own expense||Exception : If the quality of the product can only be checked through its use, you are entitled to remove the packaging and test its properties|
What happens after a service is withdrawn?
In the case of services, the cancellation period generally begins at the time the contract is concluded , provided that you have informed your customer of his or her right to cancel. If part of the service has already been carried out, the customer must pay a corresponding value replacement , which is calculated on a pro-rata basis.
In certain situations the right of withdrawal expires prematurely. This is the case, for example, if …
- … your customer expressly consents to the execution of your service
- … your customer agrees with you that the right of withdrawal expires after the service has been provided
In general, the revocation of a loan contract is also possible, but numerous regulations must be observed here. Within the so-called reversal relationship, the buyer reimburses his credit bank for the entire loan amount including the interest not yet paid. In the course of this, the buyer then receives the sum of his repayment, including interest. There are a total of 30 days after revocation for this.
Revoking an insurance policy is far more complex . If there is a right of withdrawal within the meaning of the Insurance Contract Act (VVG), the usual withdrawal period of 14 days applies . In the case of life insurance, this is usually extended to 30 days. There is no right of cancellation for insurance policies with a term of less than one month or if the insurance is taken out to cover a major risk. Credit and surety insurance, for example, are defined as major risks.
When is a revocation not possible?
If a contract has been concluded with a term of less than one year, there is generally no right of withdrawal. According to §312 BGB , a revocation is also excluded in the following cases:
|Individually coordinated goods||Made-to-measure suits|
|hygiene||Packaging already opened|
|Audio and video recordings||Sealed PC software|
|Goods / services with price fluctuations depending on the financial market||Securities, foreign exchange|
|Notarized contracts||Land purchase agreement|
For consumers, the chances are predominantly promising to assert the reversal of a purchase contract within the framework of the right of withdrawal . This applies to both Germany and Europe-wide purchases. So that they can legally enforce their claims, it is immensely important that you inform them of the existence of a declaration of revocation at the latest immediately before the conclusion of the contract. If your customers comply with all legal requirements, nothing stands in the way of a successful revocation.