Online retailers - now refunding your delivery fee, too

19 April 2010

online_shoppingSome companies, when giving a refund, like to keep a little back for themselves. Perhaps its for shoe-wear for the staff wandering around the office moaning about people wanting their money back. We covered it when Additions decided to keep the delivery charge for a product that hadn't even been shipped out. Now, online shoppers who send back goods straight away must not be charged for their delivery, because a European Court says so.

According to The Reg, The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) said that Germany should not have a law allowing online and postal retailers to refuse to refund delivery costs when a consumer exercises their right of withdrawal.

The CJEU ruled in a case involving a €4.95 delivery charge by retailer Heinrich Heine who argued that German law does not grant the consumer the right to a refund of the delivery charges, however, the German Federal Court said that the German law contravenes EU law and would have to be changed.

The CJEU feel that, should the law back the notion that customers should pay for delivery regardless, then the charge would "dissuade consumers from exercising their right of withdrawal."

Essentially, companies are now obliged to give you all your money back if you withdraw from a sale. EU rules state that you have the right to return goods for a full refund within seven days of receiving them, including the delivery cost.


  • BobF
    The DSR already covers this in the UK, provided you informed the seller of your intention to return an item within 7 days. Although it is important to remember, if you send it back, you get to pay the return costs, you only get the original delivery fee refunded.
  • ScottC
    Bob I dont think thats quite true - I think that retailers can "opt out" but they have to EXPLICITLY state that they will not refund delivery. DSR allows this I believe...
  • Tim
    ScottC - not true. They are obliged to refund delivery costs. They can 'opt out' of refunding return postage if they put it in their T&C's. If they don't, they are obliged to refund return postage costs too.
  • Gunn
    Most retailers would refund the delivery and some even pay the return postage ( was one example that did for me)
  • Ten B.
    [...] retailers – now refunding your delivery fee, [...]
  • Next B.
    [...] even though the law was clarified in April, Next won’t be getting around to making any changes to that practise until next [...]

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