Bestair offers consumers the statutory cooling-off period following ACM action
Bestair Technics B.V. will offer consumers the opportunity to cancel their purchases within the statutory cooling-off period. This has been the result of an intervention of the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM). Bestair sells air conditioning systems to consumers, using a mobile showroom and only by appointment. As such, Bestair believed that it did not have to offer consumers the statutory cooling-off period. That is not correct. The 14-day cooling-off period also applies to off-premises sales, such as consumers’ homes, so that consumers are optimally protected. Bestair now informs consumers correctly about the cooling-off period.
Edwin van Houten, Director of ACM’s Consumer Department, explains: “It is important that consumers have the opportunity to change their minds, especially with off-premises sales, even if the company comes to their homes after booking an appointment. It is vital that consumers know that they are entitled to the cooling-off period. We therefore welcome the changes that Bestair has implemented to its practices.”
What will Bestair do differently?
Having received various complaints about Bestair’s practices, ACM and Bestair have agreed on the following changes:
- Going forward, Bestair correctly informs consumers about the statutory cooling-off period, and will also apply that period. Bestair has changed its general terms and conditions, its order form, and the packing slip;
- All consumers that had recently wished to cancel their purchases within their respective cooling-off periods but were erroneously informed by Bestair that they could not, have been contacted by Bestair in order to find a solution. They can still cancel their purchases, if they want to.
Rules regarding off-premises sales
In situations involving off-premises sales (street vending or door-to-door sales), consumers may experience pressure or must deal with unexpected situations, even if they have booked an appointment themselves. That is why, in such situations, consumers are protected by a cooling-off period of 14 days. Consumers are allowed to cancel their contracts for any reason within 14 days after the product has been delivered. If consumers are incorrectly informed about this right (or not informed at all), the deadline before which consumers can cancel their purchases can be extended to up to one year or to 14 days after the consumer has been properly informed after all. One exception to this rule is if the purchase required customization: if a product has been specifically created for you, such as a photo album or custom-made clothing, the statutory cooling-off period will not apply.
Swift approach to consumer problems
ACM has many different instruments at its disposal for solving consumer problems. When selecting the right approach, ACM puts consumers first. In this case, ACM chooses to confront the company in order to solve the problem. By monitoring reports filed with ACM’s consumer information portal ACM ConsuWijzer, ACM continues to check whether the company implements the adjustments that have been agreed upon.