Withdrawal right or cooling off

When buying goods in a retail store in France, you have no cancellation right. This is different in case of a distance contract. What are the deadlines? What products are concerned?

Update : 2015

However, for any distance contract (by phone, fax, mail, or on the internet), you have the right to cancel your order within 14 working days. This 14-day “cooling off” period begins on the day when you receive your purchase for goods, and on the day you accept the offer for supply of services. You can cancel this order for any reason and without penalty. Possibly you will have to pay the postage costs of shipping goods back to the seller.

The seller will have to give you a refund within 14 days.

Certain products are however excluded. Unless the seller allows it, the right of withdrawal will not apply to:

  • the provision of services if performance has begun before the end of the cooling off period with the consumer’s agreement;
  •     the supply of goods or services, the price of which is dependent on fluctuations in the financial market,
  •     the supply of goods made to the consumer's specifications or clearly personalized,
  •     the supply of audio or video recordings or computer software which were unsealed by the consumer,
  •     the supply of newspapers, periodicals and magazines,
  •     gaming and lottery services.
  •     contracts for the provision of accommodation, transport, catering or leisure,
  •     the supply of foodstuffs, beverages or other goods intended for everyday consumption and delivered by regular delivery.

You will also be able to use your right of withdrawal for contracts concluded by doorstep selling. In this case, the 14-day period will start from the date of signing of the contract.

If you have purchased goods from a private individual, the transaction is not covered by the same consumer legislation. You do not have the legal right to change your mind within seven days of your order.

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