If the customer cancels the distance purchase

Om kunden ångrar sitt köp - English

When you sell goods or services remotely to consumers, for example online, through telemarketing or via home visits, you are obliged to provide a 14-day right of withdrawal. The right of withdrawal also applies when you sell goods or services in shops but have contacted the consumer outside the shop.
  • As a general rule, consumers are entitled to a 14-day right of withdrawal when shopping remotely and outside business premises, but certain exceptions do exist.
  • If you sell an item, the withdrawal period takes effect on the day after the consumer has received the item.
  • If you sell a service, the withdrawal period begins the day after the contract has been concluded.
  • It is your duty to ensure that the consumer is informed of the right of withdrawal before the consumer enters into the contract. If you have not provided sufficient information, the withdrawal period will be extended.
  • The right of withdrawal does not apply to all types of purchases. For example, it does not apply to consumers who purchase travel or a custom-made product.
  • It is the consumer who must pay the return shipping if the consumer withdraws her/his purchase (provided that you have informed her/him about this before the purchase was made). However, if the items is faulty (a complaint is filed), you are responsible for the return shipping.

The Act on Distance Contracts and Off-Premises Contracts

The law governing distance purchases is called the Act on Distance Contracts and Off-Premises Contracts (SFS 2005:59).  

Brief description of the content of the Act on Distance Contracts and Off-Premises Contracts.

What is a withdrawal period?

The period in which the consumer has the right to withdraw the purchase is called the withdrawal period. The withdrawal period starts on the day after the consumer has received the item. If you sell a service, the withdrawal period is calculated starting on the day after the consumer entered into the contract.

If the last day of the withdrawal period falls during a Saturday, Sunday or a public holiday, the withdrawal period is extended so that it also applies to the next weekday.

If you do not give the consumer the correct information about the right of withdrawal, the consumer has up to one year from the end of the original withdrawal period to withdraw the purchase.

The seller’s responsibility to inform the consumer about the right of withdrawal

It is the seller’s responsibility to inform the consumer about the right of withdrawal before the consumer enters into the contract. The information must be clear and must contain what the consumer needs to know in order to exercise her/his right of withdrawal.

Before the withdrawal period can begin, the company must inform the consumer about:

  • Whether the right of withdrawal exists, or if any of the exceptions apply.
  • The length of the withdrawal period and when it takes effect.
  • How the consumer should proceed if she/he wishes to withdraw the purchase.

You are also obliged to inform the consumer about the withdrawal form that the consumer can use.

Template for information about the right of withdrawal

PDF 139 KB. Öppnas i nytt fönster

Information and template available in Swedish.

 

Distance contracts

In the case of a distance contract, you must provide the consumer with information about the right of withdrawal orally or in writing, in a way that is adapted to the sales method. This means that the information may be provided orally in the case of telephone sales, whereas a web shop must provide the information in writing, e.g. in the general terms and conditions. In the case of telemarketing, information about the withdrawal form may be provided via a reference to the company’s website.

After the purchase is made, you must send a confirmation of the contract with the information the consumer received before the contract was concluded (including information about the right of withdrawal) and send the withdrawal form. The confirmation and form must be sent as a document or in what is called “another legible and durable form”.

Contracts outside your business premises

If you sell to consumers outside your business premises, or in your premises after you have contacted the consumer off-premises, you must provide the information (including the withdrawal form) in a document, or if the consumer agrees, in another legible and durable form, such as in writing on a piece of paper.

After the purchase, you must send the consumer a confirmation of the contract, along with information about the right of withdrawal. The confirmation must also be provided in a document, or if the consumer agrees, in another legible and durable form.

Telemarketing

If you contact a consumer by telephone with a view to concluding a distance contract, the consumer must accept your offer in writing in order for the contract to be valid. It is also important that you clearly and intelligibly inform the consumer about what the offer entails and what terms apply. 

Learn more about the rules for telemarketing (information in Swedish)

The consumer has the right to examine the item

The consumer has the right to examine the item to see what its characteristics and function are.

You may be entitled to compensation for an item’s depreciation if the consumer uses or manages the item in a way that is not necessary in order to examine it. To be entitled to compensation, you must have informed the consumer at the time of the contract of the conditions for depreciation deduction and of the right of withdrawal.

The consumer must show that the item was purchased from you

If the consumer wishes to withdraw a purchase, file a complaint, or use open purchase rights or exchange rights, you can require the consumer to prove that the item was purchased from your company. A receipt is the best way to prove this. If the consumer can prove the purchase in some other way, this should also be accepted; e.g. with a bank statement or a credit card slip. 

Notice that the consumer has withdrawn her/his purchase

If the consumer withdraws her/his purchase, you should be informed about this and get the item back. The consumer must have sent her/his notice of withdrawal before the expiry of the withdrawal period.

Responsibility for the item

Once the consumer has withdrawn the purchase, the item must be returned to you within 14 days of the date on which the consumer notified you that she/he had changed her/his mind.

The National Board for Consumer Disputes (Allmänna reklamationsnämnden, ARN) considers that as a company, you are responsible for the item being returned from the moment that the consumer hands it over to the carrier. Thus, the consumer cannot be held liable if the item is damaged or lost during transport, unless you can prove that the consumer has been negligent, for example through insufficient packaging or an incorrect address.

If the carrier has not noted either of these on the packaging or return note, it is difficult to argue that the consumer has been negligent.

When the right of withdrawal does not apply

There are exceptions to which the right of withdrawal does not apply. If the right of withdrawal does not apply, you are obliged to inform the consumer of this fact before she/he enters into the contract.

Examples of goods and services where the right of withdrawal does not apply:

  • A sealed sound or image recording or a sealed computer programme, where the seal has been broken by the consumer.
  • Goods that are sealed for reasons of health or hygiene, e.g. underwear, and the seal has been broken by the consumer.
  • Cultural and sporting events.
  • Travel and accommodation, such as airline tickets and hotel stays.
  • Leisure activities carried out on a given day or for a limited period of time, such as cultural events or football matches.
  • A service that has been completed and the consumer has expressly consented to the start of the service, without a right of withdrawal.
  • Goods that can deteriorate rapidly, such as food.
  • Single copies of a newspaper or magazine.
  • Goods that are custom-made according to the consumer’s specifications or that are of a clearly personal nature, such as family photos.
  • Digital content, such as a downloaded film, if the consumer has expressly consented to the commencement of delivery and that there is thus no right of withdrawal.
  • Off-premises contracts, if the total amount is less than SEK 400.

For a summary of all the exception, please refer to the Act on Distance Contracts and Off-Premises Contracts, Chapter 2, paragraphs 1 and 11.

The Act on Distance Contracts and Off-Premises Contracts on the website of the Swedish Parliament.

When selling from another EU country

If you sell something remotely within the EU, the consumer also has a right of withdrawal for 14 days.

Information for consumers about the right of withdrawal within the EU on the Hallå konsument website

Proofread 22 October 2021

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