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The right to withdraw from the contract concluded outside the seat or at a distance

A consumer who has concluded a distance or off-premises contract may withdraw from it within 14 days without giving any reason and free of charge. Exceptions are:

  • the costs of non-standard delivery if they were incurred at the clear request of the consumer
  • costs not directly linked to the return of the goods, if the consumer has established with the entrepreneur that they are justified in incurring them
  • the cost of the service provided up to the time of withdrawal from the contract relating to the supply of water, gas, electricity, heat.

The withdrawal period begins:

  • for a contract in the performance of which the entrepreneur delivers an item, being obliged to transfer its ownership, from taking possession of the item by the consumer or a third party other than the carrier designated by the consumer
  • for a contract which covers several items to be delivered separately, in lots or pieces, from possession of the last item, lot or piece
  • for a contract which involves the regular delivery of goods for a fixed period of time - from taking possession of the first item
  • for other contracts - from the date of conclusion of the contract.

It should be stressed that if the consumer has not been informed of his right of withdrawal from the contract, the right of withdrawal expires only 12 months after the expiry of the 14-day period. However, if the consumer has been informed before the expiry of the 12-month period, the withdrawal period expires 14 days after the consumer has been informed.

The consumer may withdraw from the contract by submitting a statement of withdrawal to the entrepreneur. The Act allows for various forms of expression of willingness to withdraw from the contract. The statement can be submitted on a form (Appendix 2 to the Consumer Rights Act) or in another, preferably written form and sent by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt to the entrepreneur. It is also possible to submit a written statement in person at the premises of the entrepreneur, with a confirmation of delivery. In addition, the Act allows communication by means of special Internet forms, however, in such a case an acknowledgement of receipt of the withdrawal sent to the consumer is required.

As a consequence of withdrawing from a distance or off-premises contract, the contract is considered not concluded.

Please note that not every distance contract can be withdrawn. The Consumer Rights Act lists the types of contracts to which the right of withdrawal does not apply. Exceptions:

  • if the entrepreneur has performed the service in full with the express consent of the consumer, who has been informed before the performance begins, that after the entrepreneur has performed the service, he will lose his right to withdraw from the contract
  • the price or remuneration depends on fluctuations in the financial market
  • the subject of the provision is a benefit produced to the consumer's specifications or intended to meet his or her personalised needs
  • the subject-matter of the provision is an item which deteriorates rapidly or has a short shelf life
  • the subject-matter of the service is the supply of goods in sealed packaging, which cannot be returned after opening the packaging for health protection reasons or for hygienic reasons, if the packaging has been opened after delivery
  • the subject-matter of the provision are things which, by their nature, are inseparably combined with other things after delivery
  • the subject of the provision are alcoholic beverages, the price of which was agreed upon at the time of conclusion of the sales contract and whose delivery can take place only after 30 days and whose value depends on fluctuations in the market, over which the entrepreneur has no control.
  • the consumer has expressly requested the entrepreneur to come to him for the purpose of carrying out the urgent repair or maintenance; if the entrepreneur provides services other than those for which the consumer has requested performance or delivers goods other than replacement parts necessary for the performance of the repair or maintenance, the right of withdrawal shall apply to the consumer in respect of the additional services or goodsthe subject-matter of the provision are sound or visual recordings or computer programs delivered in sealed packaging, if the packaging has been opened after delivery
  • the supply of newspapers, periodicals or magazines, with the exception of a subscription agreement
  • the contract was concluded through a public auction
  • is a contract for the provision of accommodation services other than for residential purposes, transport of goods, car rental, catering, leisure, entertainment, sporting or cultural events, where the contract specifies a day or period for the supply of digital content which is not recorded on a tangible medium, where the performance has begun with the consumer's express consent before the end of the withdrawal period and after the trader has informed the consumer of the loss of the right to withdraw from the contract.



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