The cooling-off period and cancellations

The cooling-off period and cancellations

When selling to consumers by mail order, phone, fax, internet or digital TV you must give them a cooling-off period during which they have an unconditional right to cancel the contract.

In the case of , the cooling-off period normally ends seven working days after the day the order was made – or after written confirmation is received.

In the case of , the cooling-off period normally ends seven working days after the day the goods are received.

Consumers must inform you in writing – by letter, fax or email – of their decision to cancel.

Consumers’ money should be reimbursed as soon as possible – and in any case within a maximum period of 30 days.

Your contract with the consumer should also specify who pays any postage necessary to return unwanted goods.

However, there are some exceptions to the right to cancel. Consumers can’t cancel if the contract is for:

  • accommodation, transport, catering or leisure services
  • package travel and timeshare arrangements
  • food, drinks or other goods delivered regularly to the consumer’s home or workplace by a ‘regular roundsman’ such as a milkman or domestic oil supplier
  • goods made to the customer’s specification
  • goods that are perishable or can’t be returned, such as frozen food and fresh flowers
  • audio or video recordings or computer software that the consumer has opened
  • newspapers or magazines
  • betting, gaming and lotteries
  • premium-rate telephone and website services
  • services that begin, by agreement, before the end of the cooling-off period

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