What is Amazon's cell phone return policy

Return policy and exchange: You have to pay attention to this

In Germany there is no general right of return or exchange. At the local retailer you are therefore dependent on their goodwill and customer friendliness. On the other hand, it is different in online trading: almost every product bought on the Internet can be returned within 14 days.

Basically, the rule “contract is contract” applies: When the customer pays at the cash register and the goods are then handed over, a contract that is binding for both parties has been concluded. There is basically no right of return or cancellation when buying in a shop. Because the legislator assumes that the responsible consumer thinks carefully beforehand what he wants to buy. But that doesn't always work, and luckily for many retailers, customer satisfaction is more important than legal regulations.

Dealers often grant a right of return

Many retailers therefore grant a time-limited right of return, usually between 14 and 28 days - for example, with a note on the receipt "Exchange possible within two weeks". Whether the retailer enables the exchange for another product or a voucher, or even pays out the money, is at his discretion.

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And another common misconception: it is not absolutely necessary to present a receipt or invoice. The credit card statement or a bank statement that proves the EC card payment can also serve as evidence. And despite all the goodwill, there are many products that cannot be returned under any circumstances. These include unsealed CDs or DVDs, used cosmetics and personalized items such as an individually printed T-shirt or a mug with a photo. And most of the time, "excluded from exchange" also applies to reduced goods.

Tip: If you want to be on the safe side, for example to be able to easily exchange a gift for your friend, you can expressly agree on a right of return in advance and thus deviate from the basic legal rule. Make a note on the receipt: "Return for money is possible within 14 days." Then the retailer is bound by this promise. You should avoid the word "exchange". Otherwise, the retailer could later explain that it was only meant to be exchanged for another item or for a voucher.

Special case of warranty

The legal situation is completely different if a defect occurs in the purchased product within two years, because then the consumer has far-reaching rights. In the case of complaints, the seller is always the first point of contact and not the manufacturer. This also applies if the consumer has bought a laptop in a grocery store or a discounter, for example.

The warranty right also applies to all products that are otherwise excluded from exchange. These include unsealed CDs, opened cosmetics or personalized products. If they are not in perfect condition, you can complain about them. The dealer is obliged to either exchange the item or to have it repaired or to have it repaired, at the customer's option. If the goods are still defective after the exchange or the second attempt at repair, you can either withdraw from the contract and claim the money back or keep the defective goods and reduce the purchase price.

Important: You are only entitled to these warranty rights vis-à-vis the seller, but not vis-à-vis the manufacturer. So if you contact the manufacturer directly and the repair and exchange attempts fail, you can neither withdraw from the contract nor reduce the purchase price. So don't let the seller put you off!

Right of return when shopping online

The rules for purchases on the Internet are completely different: the consumer has the right to cancel any sales contract concluded within 14 days without giving any reason and to return the product. The period begins as soon as the goods arrive and weekends and holidays are included. The deadline is two calendar weeks, not 14 working days.

The reason for this right of withdrawal is simple. Unlike in retail, when you buy online, you don't have the opportunity to look at or try on the goods beforehand. And no matter how precise the description of the retailer is, the dress may not fit or the shoes may be half a size too small. However, the customer cannot simply return all goods by revocation. Custom-made clothing and furniture, perishable goods and hygiene items, for example, are excluded - unless they are defective.

The law stipulates that the customer must declare the revocation in writing for online purchases. A pre-formulated return slip from the retailer is sufficient for this. Many large online retailers make returns as easy as possible. Fill out the return slip, pack the goods again and then off to the responsible parcel service provider. If the retailer has included a return sticker as a courtesy, the return is even free of charge for the customer. However, this is also a voluntary service, because since June 2014 operators of online shops have been allowed to pass on the costs for returns to customers in full under EU law.

Very important: Private individuals are not obliged to grant a right of return. This also applies to sales on the Internet. So if you buy from a private person on eBay classifieds, for example, you have no right to a return.