onsidering the pace of the era we live in, we can say that shopping online has become a necessity. Therefore, online shopping websites or the online stores of famous brands have become not only shopping platforms but also social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. In the realm of internet shopping, where consumers can easily be misled, regulations protecting consumer rights have become essential. As a result, the Distance Contracts Regulation in Turkish law, which has been updated several times, regulates the consumer’s right of withdrawal in online shopping and imposes significant obligations on sellers.
Firstly, the seller has an obligation to inform the consumer clearly about the consumer’s right of withdrawal and how to exercise it. The consumer has a 14-day right of withdrawal for purchases made on the internet, through social media, or over the phone. The 14-day period begins on the day the product is delivered to the consumer for physical products or on the day the contract is concluded for services. However, if the consumer is not adequately or correctly informed about the right of withdrawal by the seller, the consumer’s right of withdrawal can be extended up to one year. The 14-day right of withdrawal can also be exercised during the period from the date of purchase to the date of delivery of the product.
The most important point here is that in online shopping, the consumer can exercise the right of withdrawal without providing any reason and without paying any penalties or fees. Any clause put forth by the seller that attempts to limit the consumer’s right of withdrawal, impose deductions, expenses, or shipping charges is not valid.
To exercise the right of withdrawal, the consumer must notify the seller in writing within the prescribed period. The seller, in turn, has an obligation to confirm the receipt of the consumer’s withdrawal request and refund the product price within 14 days from the date of the request, using the payment method used by the consumer during the purchase, without making any deductions.
There are some exceptions to the consumer’s right of withdrawal in online shopping. Products with a short shelf life that can deteriorate quickly, or products whose packaging has been opened and are unsuitable for return due to hygiene reasons, are considered non-returnable. Additionally, products specifically prepared according to the consumer’s needs and requests, as well as opened books, magazines, digital content, or computer consumables that pose a risk of being copied, are excluded from the scope of the right of withdrawal. Services such as accommodation, goods transportation, vehicle rental, or entertainment, which must be used on a specific date or during a specific period, do not fall under the consumer’s right of withdrawal either. However, it’s important to note that these exceptions are related to the right of withdrawal without cause, and the consumer’s rights regarding faulty goods and services are still protected.