Information about your right to withdrawal
The trader has to inform you about your right to withdraw from a distance contract. The cooling off period of 14 days starts the date you physically receive the items. If it is a service you have purchased, the period of withdrawal starts the date the contract was concluded.
If the trader never informed you about your right to withdrawal, the cooling off period extends for up to additional 12 months from the end of the initial cooling off period. However, if the trader informs you in the meantime, then the withdrawal period expires 14 days after the day you received that information.
Withdrawing from the contract
You can withdraw from the contract by either using the model withdrawal form or making any other unequivocal statement. However, you can also withdraw in your own words. A letter, a telephone call or returning the goods with a clear statement could meet this requirement, but the burden of proof of having withdrawn within the time limits is on you.
Keep in mind that it’s in your interest to make use of a durable medium when communicating your withdrawal to the trader. Avoid returning the goods without any explicit statement, refusing delivery or not picking the goods up at the post office. Trader may not consider the return of a package as withdrawal, when it has not been delivered to you for some technical reason.
On the other hand, the statement used by the consumer to withdraw from the contract does not necessarily have to refer to the „right of withdrawal“. You can use words „terminating“ or „cancellation“ or using similar words.
After withdrawal, the trader has 14 days to refund the payment. If the contract concerns the purchase of goods, the trader has the right to postpone the repayment until he has received the goods back or until you have supplied evidence of having sent back the goods.
Unless the trader has offered to collect the goods himself, you have 14 days to send back the goods, calculated from the date you informed the trader of your withdrawal. You have to bear the costs of returning the goods, unless the trader has agreed to bear them or if the trader has not informed you that you have to bear them.
Exceptions to the cooling off period
It is important to bear in mind that there are some exceptions to the cooling off period, where there is no right of withdrawal for consumers, e.g. plane tickets, package travels, car rental services, personalised goods etc..