legal or contractual reasons must exist for a withdrawal from the purchase contract. if defects occur within the warranty period, the seller first has the right to remove them. Only if this supplementary performance fails can the purchaser withdraw from the purchase contract.
- Who concludes a sales contract, has no general right of withdrawal.
- Withdrawal is only possible if it has been contractually agreed or if the seller does not fulfill his legal contractual obligations.
- The warranty period is up to 2 years.
- If defects occur during this time, the seller has the right to rectification – i.e. repair or replacement.
- Only if the subsequent performance fails, the buyer may withdraw from the contract.
- by withdrawal, the purchase contract is rescinded: the buyer returns the goods and gets his money back.
- In the event of withdrawal from the purchase contract, the buyer may claim damages and the seller may claim compensation for the use of the vehicle.
- Is a withdrawal from the purchase contract always possible?
- When can i withdraw from a purchase contract?
- how long can i withdraw from the purchase contract?
- When is a product defective?
- Subsequent performance: the seller’s right to remedy a defect
- What compensation is possible in the event of withdrawal from the purchase contract??
- legally binding sample letter
- What if the seller refuses to withdraw from the purchase contract??
1. Is a withdrawal from the purchase contract always possible?
No, contrary to popular belief, consumers cannot withdraw from the purchase contract without further ado.
Once signed, there is only 2 reasons, which justify a withdrawal from the purchase contract:
- It is an contractual right of withdrawal agrees.
- The seller fulfills his legal obligations (delivery free of defects and on time) not.
The background: the german constitution guarantees freedom of contract. On the one hand, this means that contracts may only be concluded voluntarily and by mutual agreement. On the other hand, once a contract has been concluded, it is then also binding for both parties.
In many clothing stores although it is possible to exchange the goods with the receipt or return them for a refund of the purchase price. However, this is only a voluntary the dealer’s goodwill. There is no obligation to do so.
14-day right of cancellation for distance selling and financing contracts
There is certain contracts, which, according to the German Civil Code (BGB), can always be revoked within a period of 14 days. Possible is the revocation without giving reasons in the case of so-called distance selling and financing contracts how
- online purchases
- Ordering from a teleshop or mail-order company
- conclusion of the contract via the internet, on the phone or by fax
- door-to-door sales and coffee runs
- Financing purchases (z. B. 0-% financing)
The 2-week revocation period begins when the contract is concluded or the contract is terminated. Once the ordered goods arrive at the customer.
If companies make mistakes in the cancellation policy, consumers may have a perpetual right of cancellation – the so-called cancellation joker.
2. When can i withdraw from a purchase contract?
Withdrawal from the purchase contract is only possible from contractual or legal reasons possible:
- The parties a contractual right of withdrawal agreed period of time.
- The seller the service not provided or not provided as contractually agreed the customer does not correct the defect within a reasonable period of time.
If a withdrawal clause is agreed in the contract, it takes precedence over the statutory right of withdrawal under the German Civil Code (BGB).
Contractual right of withdrawal
The right to withdraw from the purchase contract may be agreed by contract. A clause usually defines a withdrawal period and the specific circumstances that entitle the contracting parties to withdraw from the contract.
Some dealers charge a contractual penalty, when customers make use of the contractual right of withdrawal.
Often, for example, 25% of the purchase price is charged for withdrawal from the purchase contract for furniture compensation to.
Legal right of withdrawal
The contract law prescribes to commercial sellers 2 obligations before: the goods must
- Show the contractually agreed condition and
- To be handed over on time.
If one of the two obligations is not fulfilled, the customer must first grant the opportunity for correction. It is called in the technical language supplementary performance called.
If the seller cannot remedy the defect within a reasonable period the statutory right of rescission applies: the buyer can reduce the purchase price or rescind the purchase contract and, if necessary, claim compensation for the loss incurred. Even to claim damages.
For a contract to be valid, the seller must provide true information about the product and comply with the freedom of contract applicable in germany. Anyone who has entered into a contract due to fraudulent misrepresentation, error or threat can contest the contract in 3 steps.
3. How long can I withdraw from the purchase contract?
The German civil code (BGB) regulates the warranty period – how long a commercial seller has to be liable if a product is defective.
The period begins at the time of conclusion of the contract or. On delivery of the product to run and amounts to
- 24 months for new product and
- 12 months for used products.
During the warranty period, the so-called "warranty period" is postponed burden of proof:
- 0–6 months after purchase:
the fault is automatically attributed to the seller. The customer does not have to prove that the product was defective from the outset.
- 7–24 months after purchase:
the customer must prove that the product defect already existed at the time of purchase.
At private sales – z. B. On online platforms or via newspaper advertisements – is the warranty usually complete excluded.
An exception applies if a private seller intentionally conceals defects. In this case fraudulent misrepresentation, which also entitles the buyer to rescind the purchase contract in the case of private sales.
an advocado partner lawyer explains the further course of action in a free initial assessment.
4. When is a product defective?
According to the law on sales contracts, a defect exists if the is-condition a product from the contractually owed should-condition deviates.
Even if it only becomes apparent at a later point in time, the defect must already have been discovered for warranty claims upon conclusion of the contract or. Existing at the time of delivery.
In fact, it is not a defect if a product wears out as expected or if the customer is satisfied by improper use causes damage.
The German Civil Code (BGB) distinguishes between different types of material defects:
Examples of material defects, entitling the customer to subsequent performance:
- the fronts of the kitchen cabinets are the wrong color.
- A vehicle advertised as accident-free turns out to be an accident vehicle.
- A pair of pants has a stain that cannot be removed.
- the convection function of the oven does not work.
- The assembler scratches the new furniture during assembly.
If the delivery is not made on the contractually agreed date delivery date or within a contractually agreed delivery period, there is also a material defect.
Insignificant defects are an exception in the German Civil Code (BGB): buyers can claim subsequent performance or a reduction in the purchase price and, if necessary, a refund of the purchase price. claim damages, but have no claim withdrawal from the purchase contract.
According to the case law of the Federal Court of Justice (BGH), an insignificant defect exists if the costs of remedying the defect are 5 % of the purchase price do not exceed.
5. Subsequent performance: the seller’s right to remedy a defect
Is a product defective, this does not entitle the customer to withdraw from the purchase contract.
According to the BGB, the seller must first be given the opportunity to remedy the defect within a reasonable period of time. This will be supplementary performance mentioned.
How long may the repair take?
How much time is appropriate for correction depends on the individual case from: in many cases one to two weeks are sufficient. In the case of larger products, or if a removal or. If the defect has to be remedied within a reasonable period of time, the seller may also be entitled to considerably more time for subsequent performance.
The buyer must notify the seller in writing inform the customer of the existence of a defect and ask him to remedy it within a reasonable period of time. the letter must be demonstrably received by the seller (free sample letter in chapter 7).
How to remove the defect?
the seller may effect subsequent performance in two ways: he may remedy the defect by a repair repair or a replacement product deliver.
The way in which the seller should rectify the defect can be customer decideas long as the desired type of subsequent performance is reasonable and does not involve disproportionately high costs, the seller must comply with the customer’s request.
No matter whether repair or replacement delivery – the costs of subsequent performance is always borne by the dealer. shipping costs or fees for the repair he may not demand from the customer.
How many attempts of supplementary performance are the dealer entitled to?
How many attempts the seller has to remedy the defect depends on the type of subsequent performance and the individual case:
In the case of a replacement delivery, the dealer has to bear only an attempt. If the replaced product is also defective, this entitles the purchaser to withdraw from the purchase contract.
For a repair he is normally entitled to 2 attempts to. In the case of technically complex devices such as z. B. computers, the customer may also be reasonable 3 attempts to rectify the defect.
Under certain circumstances, even in the case of a repair one single failed attempt to remedy the defect entitle to withdraw from the purchase contract. Namely, if:
- The customer is in urgent need of the goods.
- It is a technically uncomplicated product (e.g. B. A toaster).
- The seller was unreliable in the first attempt to rectify the defect.
If the period for supplementary performance expires without the defect having been remedied, the purchaser may withdraw from the purchase contract or reduce the purchase price and if necessary. Claim compensation for damages.
A free, sample letter pretested by a lawyer for the withdrawal from the purchase contract, see chapter 7 of this article.
6. what compensation is possible in the case of withdrawal from the purchase contract?
A withdrawal from the purchase contract leads to reversal: the contracting parties must restore the situation that existed before the conclusion of the contract.
For this purpose, the buyer returns the purchased item and gets his money refunded.
A repayment the customer does not have to accept compensation in the form of a voucher.
In addition, the buyer, but also the seller, can be entitled to compensation arise.
when is the buyer entitled to compensation for damages?
Compensation is possible in addition to withdrawal from the purchase contract. the prerequisite is that the buyer has suffered damage because the seller has not delivered the goods as agreed in the contract or has not delivered the goods on time.
This can be done for example lost profit which the buyer would have earned with the purchased goods.
A possible damage are also loan fees for a replacement that the purchaser had to borrow for bridging purposes. damages may also be due in the event of delayed delivery.
When can the seller demand compensation for use??
Compensation for use is a form of the value, which may be incurred in the event of rescission of purchase contracts – however, it is not permissible in the event of subsequent performance.
When taking back a used item – especially cars and other technical products – the seller always incurs a loss of value loss of value. The value rate serves as compensation.
The customer must no compensation for use pay if he has used the goods to a lesser extent to check the properties and proper functioning.
A compensation for use is legal if:
- A physical return of the goods is not possible – for example in the case of contracts for work or services.
- The buyer has consumed, processed or transformed the goods.
- The seller has suffered a loss in value as a result of the use – for example, of a car.
The usage allowance is calculated by the following formula:
Purchase price x duration of actual use / expected duration of use in a defect-free condition
7. Legally compliant sample letter
Whether subsequent performance, repeated subsequent performance, withdrawal from the purchase contract or reduction in the purchase price – consumers must exercise all 4 rights claim in writing from the seller.
In order to legally prove that the letter has been sent, it is recommended to
- The postal dispatch by send a letter or
- The transmission by fax with confirmation of sending.
It is also important, formal requirements like z. B. to comply with the deadline for rectification of defects.
With this free, sample letter pretested by a lawyer you can inform the seller about your claim and claim your right:
sample letter "request for rectification of defects (supplementary performance)"
sample letter "request for repeated defect removal"
Sample letter "Withdrawal from the purchase contract
sample letter "reduction of the purchase price"
8. What if the seller refuses to withdraw from the purchase contract?
In most cases, the seller will be liable for a justified withdrawal from the purchase contract legal requirements follow and the purchase price – if applicable. Less a compensation for use – refunded without objection.
However, if the other party is not cooperative, it can make sense – especially with high-priced products – to have professional legal support to take.
Even an official letter from a lawyer can be enough to enforce law to get the contractual partner to refund the purchase price.
Advocado finds the right lawyer for you out of one network with over 550 partner attorneys. This contacts you within 2 hours* for a free initial assessment to your options for action and chances of success.
In the initial assessment you will learn,
- Whether you are entitled to withdraw from the purchase contract.
- Whether you are entitled to compensation.
- Whether they have to pay a compensation for use.
If a legal proceeding is promising and reasonable, you will receive a fixed price offer. In this letter, the partner attorney lists all costs that may arise in a transparent manner. On this basis, you can make your decision.
The loser pays: if you assert your right to rescind the purchase contract with the help of a lawyer, either in court or out of court, the other party must reimburse you for all costs incurred.
assumption of costs by legal expenses insurance
Many legal protection insurance take over the costs for legal issues in contract law. The partner lawyer can check in the free initial assessment whether the legal protection insurance will cover the costs in your case.
An advocado partner lawyer will explain to you how to proceed in a free initial assessment.
After studying journalism and working for five years in corporate communications for a technology group, dustin pawlitzek is now part of advocado’s legal editorial team, writing about labor and civil law. The aim is to present complex legal topics in a comprehensible way so that readers can obtain suitable solutions.