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EU Considers Extending Consumers’ Right to Withdraw from a Sale

The EU introduced the concept of the right to withdraw from a sale for distance selling nearly forty years ago. That right was incorporated in both the CPA and ECTA in SA and into almost every other consumer protection regulation in Africa. The right provides a guarantee to the consumer and thus upholds trust between online sellers and buyers. Recently the EU has proposed that the financial sector applies this right by creating a button which the consumer can use to stop the purchase of financial services (insurances, etc). While this sounds a sensible solution, given the somewhat cavalier approach of some financial services towards their customers, our European colleagues are concerned that EU regulators are now intent on expanding the scope of the introduction of a withdrawal button beyond solely financial services contracts to all distance contracts concluded by means of an online interface. We will follow this as it may provide precedent for changes to SA regulations.


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Alastair Tempest

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