The introduction of rules concerning information on distance and off-premises contracts concluded between undertakings and consumers.
Directive 2011/83/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2011 on consumer rights, amending Council Directive 93/13/EEC and Directive 1999/44/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and repealing Council Directive 85/577/EEC and Directive 97/7/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council was published in the Official Journal of the European Union of 22 November 2011.
The Directive shall enter into force on the twentieth day following its publication.
Member States must implement the Directive into their national law by 13 December 2013.
This Directive lays down rules on information to be provided in respect of distance and off-premises contracts as well as contracts other than distance and off-premises contracts concluded between undertakings and consumers. It also regulates the right to withdraw from distance and off- premises contracts and harmonises certain provisions concerning the execution of these contracts.
Key benefits for consumers resulting from the implementation of the Directive are: the amendment introducing 14 days for the right to withdraw from the off-premises contract (till now the directive stipulated 7 to 14 days).
- Providing model instructions on withdrawal from the contract and the model withdrawal form that consumers can use, if after concluding the contract they change their mind and want to withdraw from a distance or off-premises contract, concluded e.g. at home. This will facilitate and streamline the process of withdrawing from the contract. The consumers are not obliged to use the form - they may also withdraw from the contract in their own words, provided that his statement setting out his decision to withdraw from the contract to the trader is unequivocal.
- Requiring companies to disclose the total cost for the product or service, as well as all additional costs (other than remuneration agreed upon for the trader’s main contractual obligation). In addition, the undertaking needs to ensure that the consumer at the time of placing his order clearly understood that the order entails the obligation to pay.
- The obligation for the trader to reimburse received payments within 14 days from the date on which it was notified about the decision of the consumer to withdraw from the contract. Reimbursement should include the cost of delivery of the goods (if applicable).
- Introducing on traders offering contact with consumers through customer call-centres the prohibition to charge higher costs than those of a standard telephone call.
- Obligation mark digital products with information about their compatibility with hardware and software.