Exceptions to the right to withdrawal from the distance or off-premises contract

According to Art. 50, item 1 of the Consumer Protection Act the consumer has the right to withdraw from the distance contract or from the off-premises contract, without stating a reason, without paying compensation or penalty and without paying any costs, with exception of the expenses provided in art. 54, para. 3 and Art. 55, within 14 days as of the date of – the conclusion of the contract, in case of a services contract; – acceptance of the goods by the consumer or by a third party other than the carrier and specified by the consumer in the case of a contract of sale. This means that, for example, if you have ordered a product through an e-shop, you have the right to return the product within 14 days from the date you accepted the product without giving a reason and without paying compensation or penalty. It is time to note that the consumer’s right of withdrawal is not an absolute right, i.e. the Consumer Protection Act sets out hypotheses in which the right of withdrawal is not applicable to certain contracts. The purpose of this publication is to provide more information on cases in which the consumer’s right to withdraw from a distance or off-premises contract is not applicable. Or, said with other words, in which cases you cannot return the purchased goods or the ordered service, i.e. in which cases the right of withdrawal within the 14-day period is not applicable.

For which goods and services the right to withdraw from the distance or off-premises contract cannot be exercised?

In Art. 57, art. 46 and art. 58 of the Consumer Protection Act are indicated the cases in which the consumer has no right to withdraw from the distance contract or from the off-premises contract. These are:

1. Service contracts in which the service is fully provided and the performance has begun with the explicit prior consent of the consumer and confirmation by the consumer that he knows that he will lose his right of withdrawal after the contract is fully performed by the trader.

In order for this exception to apply, the following three conditions need to be met cumulatively, namely:
– the service must be fully provided;
– the user has given an explicit prior consent before performing the service;
– the consumer has confirmed that he knows that he will lose his right of withdrawal after the contract has been fully performed by the trader.

2. Contracts for the supply of goods or services, the price of which depends on fluctuations in the financial market which cannot be controlled by the trader and which may occur during the period for exercising the right of withdrawal.

3. Contracts for the delivery of goods made to order of the consumer or according to his individual requirements. These are, for example, clothes that have been sewn according to the user’s model and size of furniture that is made especially for a certain corner in the user’s home (kitchen, closet, etc.).

4. Contracts for the supply of goods which, by their nature, may deteriorate or have a short shelf life. Examples of such goods are groceries, bouquets of flowers, and others.

5. Contracts for the supply of sealed goods which are unsealed after delivery and cannot be returned for reasons of hygiene or health protection. These are, for example, protective masks for face, underwear, and others.

6. Contracts for the supply of goods which, having been delivered and, by their nature, have been mixed with other goods from which they cannot be separated.

7. Contracts for the supply of alcoholic beverages, the price of which has been agreed at the time of the conclusion of the contract of sale, where the supply may be effected not earlier than 30 days from the conclusion of the contract and whose actual value depends on fluctuations on the market that cannot be controlled by the trader.

8. Contracts in which the consumer has explicitly requested the trader to visit him in his home in order to carry out urgent repair or maintenance activities. It is important to note that when, during such a visit, the trader provides other services in addition to those requested by the consumer, or delivers goods other than the spare parts needed to carry out the repair or maintenance, the right of withdrawal applies to those additional services or goods.

9. Contracts for the supply of sealed sound or video recordings or sealed computer software that is printed after delivery.

10. Contracts for the supply of newspapers, periodicals, or magazines, with the exception of subscription contracts for the supply of such publications.

11. Contracts concluded during a public auction. For example, if during an art auction you bid for a particular item over the phone or online, then when you win that item, you cannot return it.

12. Contracts for the provision of accommodation services which are not intended for accommodation, transport of goods, car rental, catering services or the provision of services related to leisure activities, if the contract provides for a specific date or deadline for implementation.

13. Contracts for the provision of digital content that is not delivered on a tangible medium when performance has begun with the express consent of the user, who has confirmed that he knows that he will thus lose his right of withdrawal.

14. Contracts for social services, including social housing, childcare, and assistance for families and persons in permanent or temporary need, including long-term care assistance.

15. Contracts for health services provided by medical professionals to patients for the purpose of assessing, maintaining, or restoring their health, including prescribing, compliance with medical prescriptions, and the provision of medicinal products and medical devices.

16. Gambling contracts, which include bets of material value in games of chance, lotteries, games in casinos, and betting transactions.

17. Financial service contracts.

18. Contracts for acquisition or transfer of immovable property or for establishment, acquisition or transfer of limited real rights over immovable property.

19. Contracts for construction of new buildings, substantial reconstruction of existing buildings and rental of dwellings for residential needs;

20. Contracts for tourist packages with the exception of art. 47, para. 7 and Art. 49, para. 2, 3, and 7 of the Consumer Protection Act.

21. Contracts for time-distributed right to use property, contracts for long-term holiday products, and contracts for resale, and exchange.

22. Contracts concluded by a person performing public functions, which by law must be independent and impartial and by providing comprehensive legal information, ensure that the consumer enters into the contract after careful consideration and after familiarization with its legal nature and significance.

23. Contracts for the supply of food, beverages, or other goods for current consumption in the household, which are delivered by the trader in frequent and regular deliveries to the home or workplace of the consumer.

24. Contracts for services for transportation of passengers with the exception of the provisions of art. 49, para. 2, Art. 62c and 62e of the Consumer Protection Act.

25. Contracts concluded through vending machines or automated retail outlets.

26. Contracts concluded with telecommunication operators through public telephones for the use of these telephones or concluded for the purpose of making a single connection by the user by telephone, internet or fax.

27. Contracts for the delivery of medicinal products dispensed under a doctor’s prescription, as the provision of art. 58 of the Consumer Protection Act prohibits the offering and sale by concluding distance contracts for the sale of prescription medicinal products.

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This material prepared by Krasimira Kadieva aims to provide information about the еxceptions to the right to withdrawal from the distance or off-premises contract. It does not constitute a legal opinion and cannot be interpreted as individual consultation on any concrete facts or circumstances. The advice of a legal specialist should be obtained for specific questions and situations. For more information on the above-mentioned issues and individual consultations, please contact Krasimira Kadieva at 00359 882 308 670 or make an inquiry using the contact form of this website. Krasimira Kadieva can assist in drafting documents for doing business on the Internet (website terms and conditions of use, privacy policies, cookies policies) both in Bulgarian and English languages.