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Updated : 14/03/2014

Returning unwanted goods

From June 13th 2014, there will be new rules on consumer rights across the EU. Learn more about your new rights and other changes.

7 days to cancel purchase for non-faulty goods

In the EU, you have the right to cancel your online purchase within seven working days. 

This seven-day “cooling off” period begins on the day when you receive your purchase

You can choose to cancel your order for any reason within this timeframe – even if you simply changed your mind.

The seller must give you a refund within 30 days. This refund must include any shipping charges you paid when you made your purchase.

This applies whenever you buy goods outside a shop (for example by phone, fax, or mail order, as well as on the internet).

Although you have a right of refund, you will have to pay the postage costs of shipping goods bought online back to the seller.

Certain products excluded

The seven-day “cooling off” period does not apply to:

  • plane, train or concert tickets, or hotel booking
  • food and drink delivered to you by regular delivery (such as a milkman or supermarket delivery).

Sample story

Be aware that you cannot change your mind for some types of purchases

Jane bought a ticket online for a U2 concert in Ireland. She found out the following day that she would have to be out of the country on the concert date, and attempted to cancel her order. However, the online seller refused to cancel the order and give her a refund.

Under EU law you have the right to cancel purchases made online or through other methods of "distance selling" (such as phone or mail-order) within a seven-day window. However, there are exceptions.

With holiday, travel, accommodation, and leisure entertainment reservations, the seller does not have to refund you if you cancel your order.

Private sales also excluded

If you are purchasing goods from a private individual rather than a company, the transaction is not covered by the same consumer legislation. You do not have the legal right to change your mind within seven days of your order.

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In this case, the 27 EU member states + Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway

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