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Lack of right of withdrawal from the contract

Which piece of legislation determines the cases where the right of withdrawal can not be exercised?

The Government Decree 45/2014. (II.26.) on the detailed rules of contracts concluded between consumers and businesses lists all the possible cases where the consumer has no right to withdraw from the contract.


Can I exercise our right of withdraw from the contract if I purchase a concert or air plane ticket or when I book a hotel room online?

No. According to the decree the consumer is not entitled to withdraw from contracts related to ordering online accommodation (hotel room), transport (booking an air plane ticket or personal transport) services, car rental, catering (ordering a pizza), or leisure activities (online concert tickets, entrance tickets etc.) ordered via online if the contract provides for a specific date or period of performance.


May I return perishable foodstuff or hygienic products to the trader without any conditions?

No, because in case of perishable products (e.g. non-durable foodstuffs, cut flowers), and the non-returnable goods due to their nature (for hygienic or health protection reason, such as toothbrush, deodorants, underwear, massage oil, sexual accessories, cosmetics, food supplements already in use etc.) the consumer cannot withdraw from the contract. However, it is important to know that the non-returnable goods due to hygienic or health protection reason can also be returned if the packaging or foil cover has not been opened yet, and thus the product has not been used yet.


Can I claim for the purchase price if the product was produced or made on special request, based on my specific conditions, tailored to my needs?

No, because it is not mandatory for the enterprises to take back any product which is connected with the individual consumer, or has been produced according to the specific conditions and needs of the consumer or on his/her expressed request. If the law would allow withdrawal from such contracts, this would be economically valueless, since the trader could not sell to any other consumer the product having unique value only for the consumer who ordered the product.

As an example we can refer to t-shirts or mugs which have been uniquely decorated for a consumer according to his/her specific order, or based on the photos provided by him/her. The same regulation applies to the cases if we order the development of digital photos or a special, computer software designed for our needs from the webstore.

It is very important to emphasize that such regulation only refers to the products uniquely produced on the special request of the consumer. On the other hand, when a consumer provides information concerning his/her size for the purpose of purchasing a clothing item, the product is not considered as a uniquely designed item since it has been manufactured earlier and not for the special request of him/her. The computers built with special configuration do not considered as items connected to individual consumers, since those parts can be assembled and dissembled without any damage, and thus sold to a new consumer.


What about the online gambling, does the law ensure the right to withdrawal for consumers in case of such contracts?

No, in case of online sport bets and gambling the consumer cannot claim afterwards for the lost sum offered in the game, since the luck factor would lose its sense.


In case of purchasing a CD, DVD or computer software when do I loose our right to withdraw from the contract?

In such cases we cannot exercise the right to withdrawal if the packaging (protecting foil) has already been opened, as then the product under copyright can be used or multiplied, for which copyright fee shall be paid. However if we return the product unopened, in the original packaging during the cooling-off period, the trader has to refund the whole amount paid by the consumer.


Can I withdraw from the contract if I do not buy the computer software in the form of an installation disc but download it online?

In case of online downloading the subject of the contract is a pile of data in immaterial form, and the access to these data (digital content which is not supplied on a tangible medium). According to the Government Decree the consumer is not entitled to exercise his right of termination if the performance has begun with the consumer’s prior express consent, and with the acknowledgement that he will lose his right of withdrawal once the contract has been fully performed by the trader. If the consumer’s consent or statement is missing the consumer is not obliged to bear the total or partial cost of the service even if he has already downloaded the software.


What are the additional cases where the law does not provide the right to withdrawal concerning online contracts?

We can not withdraw from an online service related contract if the supplier has started its implementation within the 14-calendar-day cooling-off period by our previous agreement. Consequently, we cannot exercise our right to withdrawal if based on the contract relating to online order of e.g. cable television or internet access the service provider has already set up the establishment for the reception of the service (installed the required cables) and activated the service on our agreement within the 14-calendar-day cooling-off period.

The consumer may not assert its right to withdrawal either if the price of the product or service depends on the fluctuation of the financial market beyond the seller’s control. As an example the household petrol and other oil derivatives or jewellery made of precious metal can be mentioned. It is important to know that the price fluctuation caused by the changes of national currency rates is not included the in the exceptions.

In case of magazines or newspapers the trader can not be obliged to take over the possibly obsolete publications and refund the purchase price.


Can I withdraw from a contract if I bought the product in an online auction?

See the most important information relating to online auctions in a separate section.

Do I have right of withdrawal from the contract if I take over the product in the store or at the customer service of the trader?

In general yes, we do, and the following shall be taken into account. The right of withdrawal can only be related to the distance selling contracts, in other words the contract shall be concluded by using means of distance communication, such as the internet. In case of online purchase the offer (this is the order), which is required to the conclusion of the product, is made by the consumer, while the declaration of acceptance is made by the trader. The automatic confirmation by the trader cannot be considered a legally binding declaration of acceptance, since it only proves that the trader has received the order of the consumer. In practice the traders after receiving an order always send an e-mail or call the consumer notifying him/her about the acceptance of the order and explaining the conditions of performance. Thus when the trader notifies the consumer by this second e-mail or phone call that the product can be taken over in the shop or at the customer service, the contract is considered to have been concluded, and the consumer is entitled to the right of withdrawal, irrespective of the condition that the consumer would have the theoretical possibility to check the product when taking it over in the shop.


When it comes to the exceptions to exercising the right to withdrawal can the trader provide this right to consumers?

Yes, but since there is no legal obligations in this respect this option can only be made voluntarily, even on a case-by-case basis on the grounds of a business decision.

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