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If you sell products or services in the Netherlands, in some cases your customer has the right to a reflection period (cooling-off period or cancellation period). During this period they may cancel or return their order or cancel the contract (right of withdrawal or dissolution right).
When does your customer have the right to a cancellation period?
You customer has the right to a cooling-off period of 14 days if he buys something from you through for instance:
- the internet (web shop or online selling platform)
- door-to-door selling with a value of €50 or more
- street trade with a value of €50 or more
- a sales party or a sales demonstration with a value of €50 or more
The cooling-off period starts the day after delivery. You must inform your customer on all aspects of this cancellation period (in Dutch). You should among others tell them from which day the period starts and how they can return a product. You should also make known how your customer can terminate an agreement. If you fail to do so, the cancellation period will be extended.
Returning purchase price and delivery costs
If your customer decides within 14 days to return their purchase, you must return the purchase price and the delivery costs. You do not have to refund the delivery costs if you make clear beforehand that you will not refund these. You also do not have to refund delivery costs if your customer returns only part of their order. Customers do not have to give a reason to cancel their purchase.
When does a customer have no right to a cancellation period?
In some cases customers do not have a right to a legal cancellation period. You must state this clearly when making a sale. For instance:
- if you have customised goods for the customer
- if the goods are likely to deteriorate quickly, such as perishables
- if the sealing of a product has been broken
- for hygiene products out of their packaging
- for entrance tickets
In some circumstances you do not have to state that there is no cancellation period, for example:
- if you sell products off-premises (door-to-door, street or demonstration sales) with a value of less than €50
- package trips
- sale or rent of houses
- market trade
- if you have been hired for a specific date or for instance an emergency repair
No cancellation period:
Sales at a shop
There is no cancellation period for products sold in a shop. A shopkeeper supplies the product and their customer receives it at the agreed price. Shopkeepers may have specific terms and conditions with regard to cancelling a purchase. They can, for instance, choose to give a refund or issue a credit note.
Business to business
The legal 14 day cancellation period does not apply if an entrepreneur buys something from you. For business to business sales of goods or services the general rules of sale apply. You state the cancellation rules for business customers in your terms and conditions.
Do you sell financial products? Do you for instance supply loans? Your customer is allowed to cancel a credit agreement within 14 days after having signed the agreement. For life insurance a longer period of 30 days applies.
Timeshare and holiday clubs
Do you offer timeshares or memberships of a holiday club for a period of more than one year? You must maintain a cancellation period of 14 days and inform you customer of this beforehand. You must have them sign the European directive’s standard information form and standard withdrawal form.
A buyer may decide to abandon the purchase of a house. They can do so up to 3 days after their receiving the signed deed of sale or its copy. This 3 day consideration period (in Dutch) must consist of 2 working days at least. The buyer does not need to give a reason or pay compensation.