Consumer rights – Online shopping
Right to information
The trader has an obligation to provide the consumer with the following information in a clear and comprehensible manner and before the consumer places an order:
- trader identification data,
- the main characteristics of the goods or services
- the total price or remuneration along with taxes and fees for delivery, postal services and any other additional costs,
- methods of payment, delivery or obligation fulfilment,
- the complaint procedure,
- in the case of the right to withdraw from the contract, the terms, dates and procedure of withdrawal,
- the cost of returning the goods in case of withdrawal
- the time limit within which the offer or price remain binding
The consumer must be aware that an order placed implies an obligation to pay. A confirmation of a placed order must be easily and clearly marked with the words “order with an obligation to pay” or an equivalent phrase.
The consumer must have access, at the latest at the beginning of the ordering process, to information on any delivery restrictions and on accepted means of payment.
The trader must provide the confirmation of the contract concluded, on a durable medium, at the latest at the time of the delivery of the goods or before the performance of the service begins.
The consumer is exempted from the obligation to provide any consideration in cases of unsolicited supply of goods or unsolicited provision of services. The absence of a response from the consumer does not constitute consent.
For example, a trader sends a book accompanied by an invoice, although he/she have never contacted a given person. The consumer does not have to pay in such a case, since the trader sends the goods at his/her own risk.
Right to withdraw from the contract
The consumer has the right to withdraw from an online contract within 14 days without without giving any reason (the same time limit applies in the entire EU, Norway and Iceland).The withdrawal from the contract does not depend on consent of the trader – it is a unilateral declaration of will.
How to withdraw from the contract?
In the case of service contracts the time limit of 14 days starts running on the day of contract conclusion, while in the case of sales contracts – on the day on which the consumer received the goods. If the consumer was not informed on the right of withdrawal, the time limit is extended to 12 months.
In order to withdraw from the contract, the consumer must notify the trader about it observing the 14-day time limit. The notification should be made in writing and its copy should be kept for evidentiary purposes.
The consumer should send back the goods not later than 14 days after having informed the trader about his decision to withdraw from the contract. The consumer bears only the direct cost of returning the goods, if he/she has been duly informed about it.
An online shop cannot make the withdrawal of the consumer from a distance contract dependent on return of goods in the original packaging, which was not the object of sale, but served only to protect the goods. However, it is advisable to return the goods in the original packaging, if possible.
The trader has an obligation to immediately, not later than 14 days after having been information about the consumer’s withdrawal from the contract, reimburse all payments received from the consumer, including the cost of goods delivery. The trader may withhold the reimbursement until he has received the goods back, or until he has received evidence that the goods were sent.
If at the explicit request of the consumer, the service provision begins immediately, then in the case of withdrawal the consumer must pay for the service provided by the time of withdrawal.
The consumer is liable only for any diminished value of the goods resulting from the handling of the goods other than what is necessary to establish the nature, characteristics and functioning of the goods.
Exceptions from the right of withdrawal:
purchase of goods which are liable to deteriorate or expire rapidly (e.g. food)
purchase of goods made to the consumer’s specifications or clearly personalised (e.g. custom made furniture, custom tailored suits, engraved jewellery)
purchase of sealed goods which are not suitable for return due to health protection or hygiene reasons and were unsealed after delivery (e.g. medicinal products, wet wipes)
purchase of sealed audio or sealed video recordings or sealed computer software which were unsealed after delivery
purchase of accommodation (other than for residential purpose), transport of goods, car rental services, catering or services related to leisure activities, entertainment, sport or cultural events, if the contract provides for a specific date or period of performance.
NOTE:The Act on consumer rights does not apply to contract related to passenger transport, travel service contracts or timeshare contracts.