Germany: e-tailers stick to free return policies despite favourable directives

Monday 9 June 2014 09:40 CET | News

Despite the revised EU consumer rights directive, which allows ecommerce companies to charge customers for returns irrespective of the order value, the German retailers carry on with their free returns policies, reports.

Up until now, German consumers were entitled to return their online orders free of charge if the order value was above EUR 40. However, the EU’s directive now allows merchants to charge customers for any returns. The consumer must bear the return shipping costs independent of the price of the goods if the company has informed the consumer in this regard in advance.

Nevertheless, the German tabloid Bild has investigated that German e-tailers, including Amazon, Zalando, Otto, mytoys, C&A, H&M, Conrad and Lidl, are not planning to change their policies.

The directive entitles consumers to return their order within 14 days after receiving the goods, starting with the day of delivery. If the online retailer fails to adequately inform consumers about their return policy on the website, consumers are automatically entitled to return goods during an entire year. Consumers have to formally declare their wish to return the goods by e-mail or phone call.

The directive will be officially enforced on 13 June, 2014, aiming to bring more harmonization to the European ecommerce market, which is currently of different consumer rights legislations.

Check out our Cross-border Ecommerce Research section here for more info on country-specific ecommerce facts & figures, preferred payment methods, risk and fraud, as well as ecommerce legislation & regulation for mature and emerging markets.

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Keywords: Germany, e-tailers, free returns, policy, directives, delivery day, tax, ecommerce
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Countries: World
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