Returns of web purchases: are you aware of the rules?

Recent research by the Consumers’ Association shows that online stores in the Netherlands are don’t follow the rules. In particular, the rules regarding the return of purchases by consumers are not complied with. Online stores often pay back the customer late or incorrectly. More than half of the online stores turned out to make mistakes. Are you actually aware of the rules for a return shipment?

The Distance Selling Act prescribes, among other things, that a consumer has a 14-day cooling-off period. He can still cancel the purchase within this period.

Here are a few rules:

  • In case of a return shipment, the customer is entitled to a credit of the full purchase amount, including the delivery costs (unless only part of the shipment is returned);
  • The purchase amount must be refunded to the customer within fourteen days after termination of the purchase agreement;
  • The consumer pays the return costs himself, provided this is clearly stated on the website.
  • Results of research

    In order to carry out this research, the Consumers’ Association placed three different orders per webshop. They then sent the items back within fourteen days to check how the online retailers deal with them.

    Many mistakes were made in the processing of returns. Often the amount was not refunded on time or was incomplete. In some cases, only a voucher was offered instead of refunding the purchase amount. Both small webshops and large online department stores failed.

    Avoid fines!

    Le site Consumer & Markt (ACM) deals with these kinds of matters and protects the interests of consumers. If online stores do not comply with the rules, this organization can hand out hefty fines. It is therefore important to be well aware of the règles that to apply.

    Does a customer want to return a product? Then you can easily refund the purchase amount via the transaction overview in your account. Nowadays it is also possible to refund an extra amount, with which you can also reimburse the shipping costs.

    Questions about this? Read the article about refunds .



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