The implementation of the Consumer Rights Directive and its consequences
24 July

The implementation of the Consumer Rights Directive and its consequences

Technically, it is no longer a problem to use an ERP solution like SAP Business One to connect with a web shop and to integrate it into the Online trade to take action. However, one must also be aware of some economic and legal consequences.

Since 13 June 2014, several new rules have been in force for online mail order business. In addition to innovations in the right of withdrawal and extensions of the duty to inform, there have also been legal changes in other areas.

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Customer hotline is mandatory in online trading

On the one hand, at this time every company in the mail order business on the Internet must have a Customer hotline be able to show it. The number must be printed on the Website at least be in the imprint. Furthermore, if a concluded contract already exists, the telephone charges must be limited. This means that only the costs arising from the use of the telecommunication means itself can be charged to the customer.
In addition, since 13.06.2014, the function for telephone revocations must be integrated.

This is to ensure that customers are not discouraged from asking questions about the product or giving explanations about it because the telephone costs are too expensive for them. This is not to create an additional source of income for the online entrepreneurs because the buyers cannot communicate with them in any other way. However, the offer of this new cheap (but not free!) telephone service should only come into effect if the customer has already bought. If he only wants to obtain information for a potential purchase, the value-added service number can still be used for this customer.

At least one payment method without fees

Also, the fees charged for certain Payment Methods may only be charged if at least one free payment method is offered. Furthermore, even with this offer, the costs of the fees for the other payment methods may not exceed the costs incurred by the company itself.

No "automatic" additional benefits

It was common practice in the Online trade so far, too, additional services to the actual range of goods (such as insurance for the purchased item), to have already pre-ticked in the order process. This procedure is no longer permitted. In future, the customer should be able to consciously opt in for these additional services. At the latest, the opt-in procedure should now be replaced by an opt-out procedure in the ordering process.

Adapt T&Cs for online trading

Also the AGB must be adjusted. Should the so-called ?40-euro clause? still exist in the company's GTC, this must be deleted for the good of the company. Otherwise, the trader can no longer charge the customer for the costs of returning the goods up to a value of 40 euros.

No ?reservation of a replacement delivery?

Until now, according to the ?reservation of a replacement delivery? allowed to deliver a comparable product in terms of price and quality to the buyer instead of the item actually ordered if the item originally ordered is no longer available. The trader is no longer allowed to do this. Therefore, this GTC clause must also be removed.

Information on website and GTC must be identical

In general, every online trader should adapt the information in the general terms and conditions to that on the website. According to the new legal regulation, the pre-contractual information obligations are also part of the concluded contract. For example, the pre-contractual cancellation policy. If the information about this cancellation policy on the website differs from that in the general terms and conditions, the contract would be contradictory and therefore invalid.

Post-contractual duty to inform

Another adjustment following the implementation of the Consumer Rights Line is that of the ?post-contractual duty to inform?. This requirement already applied under the previous law. However, this contract confirmation must now contain all mandatory information. Therefore, it must at least be adapted.

Price labelling

Also the Price labelling is affected by the legal changes. Traders are obliged to indicate prices in a concrete offer, but also in advertising. It is specified which information must be included.

However, it is no longer necessary in advertisements referring to an item available online to indicate that the price also includes VAT. So instead of ?10 Euro incl. VAT? only ?10 Euro?

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