You may already have noticed that it is becoming easier for consumers to terminate contracts via e-commerce, i.e. over the Internet.
We briefly summarize for you what entrepreneurs who offer online subscriptions and other online contracts for consumers must now consider:
Which Contracts are Affected Exactly?
The provision of a cancellation button applies to so-called paid continuing obligations that can be concluded via a website. These include subscriptions, for example, but also teaching contracts.
This is mandatory for all entrepreneurs who enable the conclusion of contracts with consumers via their website. It does not matter whether the contract was actually concluded online.
Important! The cancellation button must also be valid for contracts concluded before July 1, 2022.
Excluded from this obligation are those contracts that must be terminated in accordance with a statutory requirement. These include rental and employment contracts. Another exception concerns websites that offer contracts for financial services.
Cancellation by Mouse Click Via a Button Is Now Mandatory!
The cancellation button has been mandatory since July 1, 2022; this was added to the German Civil Code (BGB) as part of the “Fair Consumer Contracts Act”. Websites that offer a paid contract with a longer term (so-called continuing obligations) must now also offer a cancellation button for consumers*. In the future, consumers will be able to use it to cancel their online subscriptions, for example.
What Has to Be Considered with the Cancellation Button?
Entrepreneurs must comply with the legal requirements according to § 312 k BGB when designing the cancellation button. According to this, the button must be “permanently available, as well as immediately and easily accessible”.
A Termination in Two Steps:
First step: Introduction to the termination process. Consumers should be taken to a confirmation page via a clearly marked button. “The cancel button must be legibly labeled with nothing more than the words “Cancel Contracts Here” or clear wording to that effect.”
Second step: submission of the notice. Consumers can provide the necessary information and then confirm the termination. A clearly labeled button (“cancel now” or with an appropriately unambiguous wording) should also be included for this purpose.
Accordingly, both the introduction to the cancellation process and the submission of the cancellation must be designed by entrepreneurs on their website in such a way that consumers have easy access.
The Receipt of the Notice Must Be Confirmed
Entrepreneurs must immediately confirm receipt of the termination to their consumers in text form, i.e. by e-mail.
Of course, consumers can still cancel their contracts by mail or e-mail. The introduction of the cancellation button is to be set up as an additional cancellation option to make it easier for consumers to cancel subscriptions, for example.
- Cancellation button applies to entrepreneurs who offer continuing obligations to consumers via a website.
- Also applies to contracts concluded before 01.07.2022.
- Cancellation button must be permanently available, as well as immediate and easily accessible
- Entrepreneurs must confirm receipt of notice electronically