Distance selling: consumer's right of withdrawal

Verified 01 July 2023 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister), Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF)

You have 14 days to change your mind. It's the right of withdrawal. This period applies to purchases over the Internet, by telephone or by post (sale via printed catalogs received by La Poste) or by fax. If you exercise this right, the seller must reimburse you for the goods or services ordered. However, some purchases are not covered.

Video - Should a seller return a product purchased on their site?

Vidéo - If I return, does a seller have to refund me for a product purchased on their site?
Credits : Public Service (DILA)

If you purchase a good or service remotely, you have the right to change your mind about your purchase. It's the right of withdrawal.

The seller must inform you of the existence or absence of this right before the conclusion of your order. He may use a standard information notice.

However, the right of withdrawal does not apply to the following purchases:

  • Goods or services the price of which depends on fluctuations in financial market rates, which may occur during the withdrawal period (e.g. purchase of gold)
  • Goods made to your request or clearly customized whose manufacture requires special adaptations to meet very precise technical and aesthetic requirements (for example, furniture or custom-made clothing). The choice of options (color, finish...) in the standard ranges of elements proposed by the professional does not sufficiently change the nature or the destination of the goods, to make them clearly personal
  • Goods that deteriorate or perish rapidly, except food products with a date of minimum durability (MDD)
  • Goods that you have opened and cannot be returned for hygiene or health protection reasons (e.g., sealed cosmetics, underwear sold in closed bags)
  • Goods inseparable from other articles (e.g. remote control for a television)
  • Digital content provided on an intangible medium and subscription contract for these services, the performance of which began with your agreement and for which you have waived your right of withdrawal (for example, a downloaded film)
  • Services fully performed before the end of the withdrawal period and the performance of which began with your consent or express request. A service can be considered to be performed if you have made a reservation (for example, parking space), but you have not benefited from the service and this, without cancelation. For example, if you have booked a parking space for September 20 but have not used it, you will not be able to use your right of withdrawal on September 21
  • Supply of alcoholic beverages whose delivery is delayed beyond 30 days and whose value depends on financial market rates (e.g. grand crus reserved before harvest)
  • CDs, DVDs, or computer software that you have opened
  • Supply of newspapers, periodicals or magazines, except in the case of a subscription contract
  • Urgent maintenance or repair work carried out at your home and at your request, within the limits of spare parts and work necessary for strict repair. Thus, the replacement or installation of equipment which is not related to the failure or which goes beyond repair is subject to the exercise of the right of withdrawal. For example, you settle an armored door when you request service on a door opening
  • Concluded in a public auction. In the absence tendering procedure, electronic brokerage transactions (intervention of a third party in the description of the goods and the conclusion of the sale) are subject to the right of withdrawal
  • Accommodation service (hotel, camping...), transport of goods, car rental, catering or leisure activities provided on a date or according to a determined frequency (show ticket...). The sale of vouchers or gift vouchers for welfare benefits with a period of validity of 1 year does not fall within the exception to the right of withdrawal


the right of withdrawal also applies in the case where the goods purchased on the internet come from a trader located in the European Union.

You have a deadline of 14 days minimum to change your mind about your remote purchase. The same time limit applies for a canvassing by telephone.

The 14-day period is the minimum legal period.

The trader may offer a longer time to his customers.

The right of withdrawal also applies if the product is sold, used or removed from storage.


the 14-day statement shall begin on next day the conclusion of the contract or the delivery of the goods. If this period expires on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday, it shall be extended to the first working day next.

Depending on the purchase, you can exercise your right of withdrawal from a different time.

Répondez aux questions successives et les réponses s’afficheront automatiquement

Purchase of property

You can exercise your right of withdrawal from the day after receipt of the goods.

Purchase of multiple goods

You can exercise your right of withdrawal from the day after receipt of the last ordered product.

Please note

if the contract provides for the regular delivery of goods during a defined period, the time limit shall start on the day following receipt of the 1er good.

Purchase of a service

You can exercise your right of withdrawal from the day after the contract is signed. For example, telephone subscription, electricity supply, water supply.

Example :

telephone subscriptions, electricity, water supply, etc.

Coupled purchase of goods and services (e.g. provision of a box with an internet subscription)

You can exercise your right of withdrawal from the day after receipt of the goods.


if the seller has not informed you of your right of withdrawal, the period is extended by 12 months from the end of the initial withdrawal period. But if that information is provided to you during that extension, it's 14 days again. It starts on the date you receive the information.

Before the withdrawal period expires, you must send the seller one of the following documents:

  • Standard form of withdrawal provided with the contract
  • Other writing expressing your wish to withdraw

You can use a document template to write your mail.

Withdraw following the remote purchase of a property

The mere return of the goods without declaration or the refusal to take delivery is not enough to express your wish to withdraw.

You don't have to justify or justify your decision.

The trader may not require any special conditions (e.g. a registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt).

However, if necessary, you must be able to provide evidence to prove the use of your right of withdrawal.

Any clause by which the consumer gives up his right of withdrawal shall be void.

The seller may also allow you to complete and submit the form or declaration on his website. In this case, the trader will issue you an acknowledgement of receipt of your withdrawal.

In case of dispute, you will have to prove that you have respected the withdrawal period.

The main contract and contracts ancillary to the main contract for the sale or supply of services (examples: insurance contract, credit contract) are terminated.

You must return the product.

The seller must refund you all the money you paid, including shipping costs.

You must return the goods to the seller no later than 14 days after sending your withdrawal.

You must pay the following:

  • Direct return costs unless the seller pays for them or has not informed you that you have to pay these costs
  • Additional cost of delivery of goods if you have chosen a more expensive delivery method than the seller's proposed delivery method. For example, if you choose an express delivery within 24 hours when the seller offered a cheaper delivery method, you pay the difference in cost between these two types of delivery.
  • Fixed and proportional costs of the provision of the service, the performance of which started before the end of the withdrawal period at your express request.

In the case of an express request to perform the service before the end of the withdrawal period, you do not pay anything if the trader has not collected your request on paper or on durable support. This is also the case if the trader has not informed you of the obligation to pay a fee for the service provided until the withdrawal.

In case of return of part of the order, the seller must refund the delivery costs proportionally to the number of items returned, except in case of flat delivery costs.

Repayment period

The seller must refund you at the latest within 14 days from the date on which he was informed of your decision to withdraw from the contract, unless there is a justified delay.

However, for a sale of goods, the seller may defer repayment until the day the goods are recovered or until you have provided proof of shipment.

Please note

the use of gift certificates makes it impossible to refund them in cash.

In the event of late repayment (after the 14-day period or after the return of the goods), the amounts due are automatically increased.

Tableau - Increases in case of late repayment since 1 July 2023


Surcharges on sums due by the trader

10 days maximum


Between 10 and 20 days


Between 20 and 30 days


Between 30 and 60 days


Between 60 and 90 days


By New Month Late

5 additional points up to the limit of doubling the price of the product, plus the statutory interest rate (6.82%)

In case of difficulty in being refunded, you can give formal notice the professional.

Notify the seller to repay the sums paid following the exercise of his right of withdrawal

In the event of a dispute, you can enter a consumer association or the Federation of Distance Selling companies (Fevad).

Means of reimbursement

The seller refunds you by the same means of payment as for the purchase.

If you agree, it can also use another means at no additional cost to you.

Thus, a refund in the form of a credit note or voucher can only take place if the purchase was made in that form, or if the consumer has given his express agreement for a refund in that form.

Who can help me?

Find who can answer your questions in your region