It’s always interesting to find out what the consumer expects from your returns service. We focus a lot on that in this blog. But it’s also useful to know about the rules that you are obliged to comply with as a webshop owner. As a webshop owner you need to consider a number of things relating to your returns policy. We’ve summarised them for you.
The consumer’s right of withdrawal.
For online purchases, consumers have a right of withdrawal. This means that the consumer may return their order without giving any reason up to 14 days after delivery. After invoking their right of withdrawal, the consumer then has another 14 days to return the product. The customer is allowed to unpack and try out the order – just as long as the products in the order are not damaged. In the event of wear and tear or damage that the consumer can demonstrably be shown to have caused, as a webshop owner you are entitled to offset the damage.
Term and method of refunding a return shipment.
As the seller, you need to claim the order amount back from the consumer within 14 days. In addition, the customer must get their money back for the order in the same way that they paid. If the customer paid with money, the customer receives money back. If the customer paid with a credit or gift voucher, you may also refund the customer in this way.
Payment of the shipping costs for return shipments.
As a webshop owner, you must refund the full amount paid by the customer for the purchase of the product. A full refund includes all costs incurred by the customer in connection with the purchase, such as shipping costs and administration costs. There is an exception: if the customer keeps one or more products from the order and only returns part of the order, you only have to reclaim the actual amount of that part of the order. If a customer chose a more expensive delivery method, you as the webshop owner pay the price of the standard delivery back.
Payment of return shipping costs.
From a legal perspective, the costs for return shipments are at the expense of the customer. Since the customer pays for the return costs, they can decide how to return the product.
Obligatory information provision about your return conditions.
As a webshop owner, you are obliged to state your terms and conditions, term and procedure relating to the right of withdrawal on your website. After the purchase, you have to send the information to your customer again. For example, you could do this by email when confirming the purchase. If the information you send is incorrect or incomplete, the customer then has a return period of 12 months. Note that you are not allowed to say that customers can return their order free of charge if you do not reimburse the delivery costs. As a webshop, you have to be transparent.
Exceptions to the consumer’s right of withdrawal.
There are a number of legal exceptions in which the consumer’s right of withdrawal does not apply. The items that this relates to include audio and video carriers, custom-made products, magazines, lottery tickets, intimate products and perishable products. As a webshop, you are obliged to inform your customers when they cannot invoke their right of withdrawal, as soon as one of the legal exceptions applies.
We hope we have given you enough information about the obligations you have to comply with as a webshop when it comes to setting up your returns policy. Want to know more about how to set up your returns service? This blog contains information and tips to help you on your way. If you have any questions, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re here to help!