A failure to state the cancellation terms entitles the consumer to a full refund if the purchase is cancelled within 14 days.

WHEN CAN ONLINE DISTRIBUTORS DEDUCT DIMINISHED VALUE IN THE REFUND AMOUNT?

In December, the Consumer Complaints Board made the first decisions on the concept "diminished value" in the Danish Consumer Contracts Act. The concept is important in relation to what the distributor should state with regard to consumers' cancellation right.

In one of the decisions, a consumer announced six days after the delivery of a motherboard that he wanted to cancel the purchase as the computer could not start up after the motherboard had been installed. The online shop refused to refund the purchase price/deliver a new motherboard as the motherboard was damaged.

Similar circumstances applied in the other decision, which concerned an online purchase of six chairs. Here, the consumer cancelled the purchase after 11 days, and the online shop wanted to reduce the refund by 30 % because the chairs had been assembled and the packaging discarded.

THE CANCELLATION TERMS MUST BE CLEAR

In both decisions, the Consumer Complaints Board rejected the online shops' refusal and reduction of the refund amount. The reason was that it is a condition for a consumer's liability for the diminished value of goods that the distributor has informed the consumer in a clear and readily understandable way before the purchase whether there is a cancellation right and, if so, which conditions, time limits and procedures are involved. If the online shop does not clearly inform the consumer about the cancellation terms, a cancelling consumer will be entitled to a full refund of the purchase price irrespective of the online shop's conditions for return with a full refund.

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