Cancellation periods

Cancellation periods

Contents

Consumers have a right to cancel distance selling and off-premises contracts without giving a reason, but must do so within a certain time after they agree to buy the goods or service. This is known as the 'cancellation period'.

The way to calculate the cancellation period will depend on whether the agreement concerns goods or services.

Normal cancellation periods for goods

Under the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013, you must give the consumer the required pre-contract information on the right to cancel, including the conditions, time limit and procedures for exercising that right. You must give this information before the consumer is bound by the contract. If you do so, the normal cancellation period will apply.

The normal cancellation period is the period ending 14 calendar days after the day the consumer (or someone they choose other than a carrier) is physically given:

  • The goods (e.g. if the consumer receives the goods on 1 August, the last day for cancellation is 15 August); or
  • The last of the goods, if a series of goods was ordered.

Normal cancellation period for digital content

For a contract for digital content not supplied on a tangible medium (i.e. just supplied by download), the normal cancellation period is the period ending 14 calendar days after the day the contract was made.

Normal cancellation period for services

The normal cancellation period for services is the period ending 14 days after the day the contract was made.

Pre-contract information given within 12 months

If you provide the pre-contract information on the right to cancel within 12 months of the first day of the normal cancellation period, the cancellation period will end 14 days after the consumer receives this information.

The effect of this in a sale-of-goods contract is that if you provide the information on the right to cancel at the latest by the date you give the goods to the consumer, the normal cancellation period will apply. If you provide it later than this, the cancellation period will be extended.

No pre-contract information given

If you don't give this information on the right to cancel, the normal cancellation period is extended by a further 12 months.