THE RIGHT OF WITHDRAWAL IN DISTANCE SELLING CONTRACTS UNDER THE NEW CONSUMER PROTECTION LAW (JANUARY 2014)

The new Consumer Protection Law numbered 6502 ("new CPL"), foresees more detailed provisions related with distance selling contracts in favor of consumers compared with the previous Consumer Protection Law numbered 4077 ("previous CPL"). New CPL has been published in the Official Gazette on 28.11.2013 and will enter into force on 28.05.2014.

When we compare the provisions of new CPL with the previous CPL, we can see that the most important amendment is related with the right of withdrawal. The right of withdrawal period is mentioned to be 14 (fourteen) days under the new CPL in favor of the consumers.

The right of withdrawal period under previous Law was regulated under the Article 7 of the “Regulation on Distance Selling Contracts". By this regulation, the right of withdrawal has to be exercised by the consumers within 7 (seven) days without giving any reason and paying any kind of penalty. However, the Article 48/4 of the new CPL foresees 14 (fourteen) days for the withdrawal without giving any reason and paying any kind of penalty. The consumers are still obliged to notify the seller that they would like to use the right of withdrawal within this period.

The new CPL states that the seller or supplier is obliged to prove that consumer have been notified with certain information that they have the right of withdrawal. Thus, we can say that the obligation of proof has been reverted. The regulations which will provide the procedure for the use of right of withdrawal will be published soon.

In case consumers have not been informed duly via the procedure stipulated under Law, the right of withdrawal period which is 14 days shall not be applicable according to new CPL. However, in any case, consumers shall use the right of withdrawal within 1 (one) year following the 14 days period.

Another new provision determined under the new CPL is related with the rights of consumers in case the seller does not fulfill his obligation. The seller or supplier is obliged to execute the order in any case within 30 (thirty) days following the day which consumer forwarded his order. According to the previous CPL, this period would be extended for a maximum of 10 (ten) days provided that consumer has been given advance written notification by the seller. However, the period of execution of the order has been determined as a certain period which is 30 days under new CPL. Furthermore, the new CPL provides that the consumer shall terminate the contract according to the general provision in case the seller or supplier does not fulfill his obligation within 30 (thirty) days period.

The issues related with the distance selling contracts such as rights and obligations of the consumers and the seller/supplier, right of withdrawal, obligation of the notice of information, delivery procedure, contracts which are out of scope and procedures and principles are mentioned to be determined under regulations. However, relevant regulations have not been published within the scope of new CPL yet. Consequently, the provisions of "Regulation on Distance Selling Contracts" which are not contrary to the new CPL shall be applied until the publication of the new regulations. In case of publication of the new regulations, the relevant information shall be provided.