14 days to withdraw

If you purchased goods or services on the website of a seller based in the EU and you aren’t happy with your order, you have a right to withdrawal of 14 days.                                                                         

Update: Feb. 2020

What is the right to withdrawal?

The right to withdrawal is a period during which you can cancel an online purchase, even if you have already paid. Before concluding a contract, the seller must inform you of the existence of the right to withdrawal and its limits, or of the absence of a right to withdrawal.

Conditions to take advantage of the right to withdrawal

  • Having purchased a good or service from a distance (Internet, catalogue...)
  • from an online seller based in an EU member state.
  • The seller must be a business (and not an individual).

14 days to change your mind about a purchase

Throughout the EU, no matter which country the seller is based in, you have 14 days to change your mind about a purchase. This period increases to 1 year if you were not informed about the right to withdrawal by the seller (periods standardised throughout the EU by directive 2011/83 on consumer rights).

This period begins:

  • after delivery of the purchased goods
  • after the conclusion of contracts for purchased services (ex. signing up for a dating site) and contracts for water, gas, electricity or digital content (article L. 221-4 of the Consumer Code);
  • after the final item or set is delivered (in the case of multiple items delivered separately or an order of multiple parts whose delivery is staggered over a defined period);
  • after the receipt of the first item, for contracts providing for the regular delivery of goods during a defined period.

Watch out for exceptions!

The right to withdrawal does not apply to certain products and services.

See our list of exceptions to the right to withdrawal.                            

How do I withdraw?

The seller should inform you of the existence, the conditions, the period and the methods of exercising your right to withdrawal and provide you with a withdrawal form.

14 days to send the order back

Once you inform the seller that you have decided to withdraw, you have a period of 14 days to send back or restore the items, assuming the seller does not offer to pick them up themself.

Can I send back an item that I used?

You have the right to try the product as if you had tried it in a store. If the returned product was tried beyond what is normal, you may need to reimburse the seller, as long as the fees are reasonable and you were informed of the conditions of withdrawal before signing the contract.

Who pays the shipping fees?

The European Directive on consumer rights establishes that the consumer may have to pay the return shipping costs in case of withdrawal. If the item cannot be sent back by the Post (especially large items), the seller should indicate the approximate cost of return shipping before the contract is concluded. If you were not informed of the return shipping costs in advance, the seller is responsible for paying the fees.

When will I receive my reimbursement?

The seller must reimburse you, including for the standard delivery cost, no more than 14 days after they are informed that you are withdrawing. If the seller is retrieving the item themself, they may delay the reimbursement until the item is picked up, or until they receive proof that the consumer has sent the item back.

How will I receive my reimbursement?

The seller should reimburse you through the same payment method you used for the purchase. They may only reimburse you through a different method if you agree and if this method does not result in additional fees.   

The right to withdrawal and service provisions

In general, if you purchase a service provision from a distance or off the premises, you have 14 days from the conclusion of the contract to withdraw. Any clause in the contract attempting to remove your right to withdrawal is void.

However, in certain cases (ex. execution of work), you may need to use the service before the end of the withdrawal period. The seller may then:

  • record your express agreement on paper or another material format
  • and inform you of the fees that will be required if you withdraw

If these conditions are fulfilled, in case of withdrawal, you will have to pay the seller for the work they completed before you decided to withdraw. If the seller did not inform you of your obligation to pay these fees, you are not required to pay.

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