With a new regulation, more obligations are imposed on intermediary service providers in distance contracts and regarding withdrawal rights of buyers in material change demands. This Amendment on the Regulation on Distance Contracts was published on August 23 and will enter into force in October 2022.
Obligations regarding preliminary information
With the newly-introduced regulation, in the event that a distance contract is established through the system created by the intermediary service provider to mediate the establishment of a distance contract ("Platform"), the intermediary service provider is jointly liable with the seller or the provider for the provision of preliminary information and the compliance of its contents and method with the legislation. In fact, in cases where the data entry is made by the intermediary service provider, the latter shall be responsible for the lack of the mandatory contents and for the accuracy of the data.
Obligations with respect to withdrawal right
Intermediary service providers (among the seller and the provider) are also obliged to prove that the consumer has been informed about the right of withdrawal.
In distance contracts executed through the Platform, the intermediary service provider shall establish the necessary system on the Platform so that the consumer can fill out the form in the format foreseen in the regulation and send the withdrawal request. The intermediary service provider shall also immediately convey to the consumer the confirmation that it, the seller or the provider has received the withdrawal requests submitted by them.
In addition, except for cases where the price is transferred to the seller after the delivery, in the distance contracts established through the Platform and where the intermediary service provider also acted as an intermediary for collection of the sale price, the intermediary service provider is jointly and severally liable with the seller for the return of the sales price to the consumer at once without incurring any cost or obligation in case of exercise of withdrawal right. In case the right of withdrawal is exercised before the delivery of the goods, the intermediary service provider is obliged to return all the payments collected, including the delivery costs of the goods to the consumer, if any, within fourteen days from the date on which the notification regarding the use of the right of withdrawal is received.
Intermediary service providers shall be responsible for, inter alia:
(i) keeping the records of the transactions of the consumer with the seller or suppliers for three years and providing this information to the relevant institutions and organizations and consumers, if requested
(ii) with respect to each consumer transaction mediated by it, causing seller or the supplier to act against the provisions of the relevant legislation due to its breach of its contractual obligations
(iii) with respect to the promotional or discounted sales organized by the intermediary service provider without the approval of the seller or the provider, for partial or full breach of the consumer agreement due to the failure to meet the campaign and similar commitments
(iv) for making sure and proving that the information promised in the advertisements and promotions made on the Platform regarding the goods or services offered for sale, and the issues contained in the preliminary information are compatible with each other
Additionally, in cases where the performance of the goods or services subject to the order becomes impossible, the intermediary service provider must notify the consumer within three days from the date of learning this situation and, if any, return all collected payments, including delivery costs within fourteen days at the latest in cases where it has mediated for the collection of the sale price on behalf of the seller or the provider.
Other changes regarding the right of withdrawal
A new rule has been introduced regarding return costs of the good in case of exercise of withdrawal right. In this context, the consumer shall bear the return cost, up to the delivery costs, if it is agreed in the preliminary information and the amount payable in case of return through the carrier foreseen by the seller. However, if the goods delivered to the consumer are defective, the consumer will not be requested to pay return costs.
The period for returning the purchased goods in case of exercise of withdrawal right has been increased to 14 days.
Contracts for the sale of mobile phones, smart watches, tablets and computers which are delivered to the consumer, and contracts regarding the goods the installation or assembly of which are completed, whereas it is indicated in the user manual that the installation or assembly of those goods should be made by the seller or authorized service, are included among the contracts where the right of withdrawal cannot be exercised.
In case of exercising the right of withdrawal, if the payment was made by credit card, card issuing institutions shall return the amounts received from the seller, provider or intermediary service provider to the card owner at once up to the credit card limit. This obligation will be effective as of January 1, 2023.