When a consumer cancels a contract

When a consumer cancels a contract

Contents

Under the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 the consumer can cancel the contract within the cancellation period by sending you the completed model cancellation form, or by making any other clear statement to you that they're cancelling the contract. They don't need to give any reasons for cancelling.

The regulations don't require the consumer to cancel in writing. However, if there's a dispute about whether they cancelled within the cancellation period, the consumer must prove this. It would be in their interest to have this proof in writing.

What you must do if the customer cancels

If the consumer cancels by using the cancellation form on your website, you must, without delay and by using a durable medium, acknowledge that you received the cancellation (see Regulatory requirements for consumer contracts for a definition of durable medium).

When the consumer has cancelled, you must refund everything that the consumer paid for the goods, including any normal postage or delivery charges. However, if the consumer has specifically chosen a more expensive type of delivery than you'd normally use, you only need to refund your normal delivery charge.

You must reimburse the consumer without delay. The latest date by which you must reimburse the consumer varies. If the contract is for the sale of goods, and you've not offered to collect them, you must reimburse the consumer within 14 calendar days after the day on which:

  • You get the goods back; or
  • The day the consumer gives you evidence of returning the goods, if earlier.

If the contract is for the sale of goods, and you've offered to collect them, you must reimburse by 14 calendar days after the day on which you were told the consumer was cancelling.

You must reimburse using the same method of payment as the consumer used to pay you, unless you both agree otherwise. You're not allowed to charge any fee for the reimbursement.

If the consumer has damaged the goods by handling them beyond what would be reasonable to examine them in a shop, you're allowed to reduce the amount you reimburse them. But you can only do this if you've provided the consumer with the required pre-contract information on the right to cancel.

Return of the goods

If the consumer has already received the goods before cancelling, you must collect the goods if you've offered to collect them. You must also collect the goods if:

  • The contract is an off-premises contract, and
  • You delivered the goods to the consumer's home, and,
  • The goods can't be returned by post because of the nature of the goods.

In all other cases, the consumer must return the goods to you without delay. They must do so within 14 calendar days after the day on which they told you they were cancelling.

Cost of returns

If the consumer is responsible for returning the goods, they must pay for the cost of return unless:

  • You've agreed to pay these costs; or
  • You hadn't provided them with pre-contract information stating that they would have to pay the costs of return.

You can't make the consumer pay any costs or charges above the direct cost of returning the goods.

If you're responsible for collecting the goods, you're not allowed to charge the consumer to do so unless they've agreed to pay.

Supply during cancellation period

Supply of services

You mustn't start to provide services before the end of the cancellation period unless the consumer has expressly asked you to. If the contract is an off-premises contract, the consumer must ask for this on a durable medium. If they do ask for this, they might lose the right to cancel, and have to pay for services that they received before cancelling.

If you've already fully supplied the services during the cancellation period before the consumer tells you they wish to cancel, the consumer can't cancel if:

  • They asked that you start supplying within the cancellation period
  • They acknowledged that they'd lose the right to cancel if you did so; and
  • The contract isn't for the supply of supply of water, gas, electricity or district heating.

If you've started to supply the service in the cancellation period, but haven't completed the supply, the consumer can cancel the contract. They must then pay you part of the price proportional to the service you've supplied.

The consumer must pay you for the services you've supplied before they cancel if:

  • They requested you to start the supply within the cancellation period; and
  • You supplied them with the pre-contract information on the right to cancel and their obligation to pay for services supplied.

Supply of digital content not on tangible medium

You mustn't supply digital content on an intangible medium (i.e. by download) before the end of the cancellation period, unless:

  • The consumer has asked you to start the supply within the cancellation period and they acknowledged that they'd lose the right to cancel if you did so; or
  • You've sent them confirmation of the contract and pre-contract information, including the right to cancel and confirmation of their consent and acknowledgement on a durable medium.

If these conditions have been fulfilled, the consumer will lose the right to cancel if you've started supplying the digital content during the cancellation period. If this happens, the customer must pay you the price of the digital content supplied.

If, however, you've not complied with these conditions, the customer can cancel during the cancellation period and doesn't have to pay you for the digital content supplied.