Recently, the Bavarian Consumer Center found that the majority of 840 websites examined did not have a cancellation button or did not have a proper cancellation button, thus violating the obligation to offer a cancellation button, which has already been in effect since July 1, 2022. More than 150 website operators were subsequently warned directly. Further warnings are merely a matter of time. We will tell you what you need to be aware of:
To whom does the obligation to offer a cancellation button apply?
Pursuant to Section 312k of the German Civil Code (BGB), companies that offer consumers the online conclusion of so-called continuing obligations, i.e. contracts such as mobile phone, subscription and gym contracts, are obliged to enable consumers to terminate such contracts via a termination button.
What are the requirements for a cancellation button?
Business owners should be sure to consider the following considerations when implementing your cancellation button:
- The entrepreneur must provide consumers with a simple and unambiguous button through which a consumer can give notice of termination of the contract that can be concluded on the website;
- the button must be clearly labeled and legible, and therefore may only be labeled with the words "cancel contracts here" or "cancel now" or other unambiguous wording;
- the cancellation button must be permanently available and immediately and easily accessible;
- the consumer must be able to save his declaration of termination submitted by pressing the confirmation button, together with the date and time of submission, on a durable medium in such a way that the submission of the declaration of termination is recognizable;
- the entrepreneur must immediately confirm to the consumer the content as well as the date and time of receipt of the termination declaration and the time at which the contractual relationship is to be terminated by the termination in text form by electronic means.
What are the legal consequences of a missing or insufficient cancellation button?
On the one hand, a missing or insufficient cancellation button leads to the fact that consumers can terminate the contracts concluded on the website at any time and without observing a cancellation period in accordance with Section 312k (6) of the German Civil Code (BGB). Secondly, the lack of a proper cancellation button is a competition infringement that is subject to a warning. As mentioned at the beginning, consumer protection agencies consistently punish violations of the obligation to offer a cancellation button and warn companies by the dozen.
To prevent consumers from terminating contracts concluded online without notice and costly warnings, entrepreneurs must ensure that contracts that can be concluded online on their website can be terminated using a proper termination button.
For this reason, you should definitely take action now at the latest if your website does not yet have a cancellation button or if it is not proper.
If you have any questions about the cancellation button, please feel free to contact us.
GoldbergUllrich Lawyers 2022