TERMINATION OF SUBSCRIPTION AGREEMENT UNDER THE NEW CONSUMER PROTECTION LAW (FEBRUARY 2014)

The New Consumer Protection Law numbered 6502 ("new CPL") foresees more detailed provisions related with the subscription agreement in favor of the consumers compared with the Previous Consumer Protection Law numbered 4077 ("previous CPL"). The 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 subscription agreement regulated under the new CPL and previous CPL, we can briefly state that the new CPL aggravates the obligations of the seller/supplier. Also the new CPL provides simple termination procedure in favor of the consumers.

According to the previous CPL, the consumers used to terminate any kind of subscription agreement unilaterally via written notification to the seller/supplier. Under the new CPL, the consumers are entitled to terminate subscription agreements (subscription agreements for undefined period or fixed term subscription agreements which are enacted for more than 1 year period) without giving any reason and paying any kind of penalty at any time. According to the new CPL in case the conditions of the subscription agreements (fixed term subscription agreements which are enacted for less than 1 year period) are amended by the seller/supplier unilaterally, the consumers are also entitled to terminate the agreement.

As per the new CPL the consumers can notify the termination to the seller/supplier in written or by electronic means as compared to the previous CPL. However, the burden of proof is still on the consumer. Pursuant to the new CPL the seller/supplier is obliged to take precautions in order to perform the transactions related with the termination notices and demands. Furthermore the seller/supplier is also obliged to provide accessible database system which will work continually.

According to the previous CPL, the seller/supplier was obliged to execute the termination request of the consumer within 7 (seven) days at latest from the date of the notification to the seller/supplier. However, the previous CPL did not provide any kind of legal sanction to the seller/supplier who does not fulfill the obligation within the mentioned period. Pursuant to the new CPL, the new regulations which will be published in meantime will provide the periods regarding the seller/supplier’s obligation to execute the demand of termination including but not limited to periodical publications. However, the relevant regulations have not been published yet. According to the new CPL in case the subscription agreement is not terminated by the seller/supplier within the periods which will be determined by the regulations, the seller/supplier cannot demand any payment from the consumers even if the consumers still benefit from the goods and services following the mentioned period.

Another new provision regulated under new CPL is related with procedure of termination. Pursuant to new CPL the seller/supplier shall not determine a termination procedure which stipulates more difficult procedure than it has been foreseen while the enactment of the agreement. Thus, we can say that both should be subjected to the same procedural requirements.

The consumers did not have the right to terminate the subscription agreement at any time under the previous CPL. However, the new CPL foresees relevant precautions for the consumers in order to prevent the unjust treatments and enables favorable provisions for the use of termination right. We believe that many of the disputes will not be forwarded to the courts in case the determination of these rights in details. We will provide the coming up regulations within this site.