Return to news

Online shopping – What are your rights?

Shopping online can be very convenient. Avoiding crowds and travel or being able to easily compare prices appeals to many people. But what do you do if your order is incorrect, not delivered when promised or stolen by a malicious neighbor?

Here is some information that will help you to know your rights better and be better equipped to shop online.


Undelivered item or stolen package

The merchant’s primary obligation is, of course, to deliver what you’ve purchased. Ideally, make sure your order has a delivery date. If there is no delivery date listed and you have not received anything within 30 days of purchase, or if your package is 30 days late, you may be able to request a cancellation of your purchase and a refund.

It is also possible that the merchant did deliver the item, but it was stolen from your door or balcony.

You have contacted the merchant and they tell you that they are not responsible. Is this true? NO! The merchant is responsible for delivering the item to you. If he chose to leave it in front of your door, he is responsible in case of theft.

Even if the delivery person took a picture of the package left in front of your door, the merchant is not exempt from his obligation.

CAUTION: If you explicitly asked the merchant to leave the goods in front of your door, you could be held responsible for the theft. Be careful before giving such instructions. For example, make sure that someone will be at home at the time of delivery to receive the package in person.


Refunding an item

If the item was not delivered, you have the right to get a refund for your Internet purchase, but how do you claim it?

You must first contact the merchant in writing (letter or email) to request the resolution (or cancellation) of the contract. The merchant will then have 15 days to reimburse you. You can’t reach the merchant or he refuses to refund you?

  • If you paid for your purchase with a credit card, the law allows you to contact your card issuer to obtain a refund of your purchase (this is called a chargeback). So paying by credit card can be a good way to protect yourself.
  • Hurry up! There are often very short deadlines to get access to the chargeback!
  • You can find more details on the procedure to follow and the deadlines to respect for chargebacks on the Office de la protection du consommateur website.


Receipt of a non-compliant item

The item delivered does not conform to what you purchased? For example, did you receive a blue shirt instead of a red one? The Consumer Protection Act gives you the right to ask for a replacement item that conforms to your order or to cancel your purchase and obtain a refund from the merchant.

How do I do this?

  • Send a notice to the merchant, for example by e-mail.
  • If necessary, return the non-conforming item to the merchant (at the merchant’s expense, of course!).
  • If they refuse, you can request a chargeback from your credit card issuer.


You don’t like the item or you’ve changed your mind

You have received the item. It is not defective, but you do not like it.

There is nothing in the law that requires the merchant to take the item back and refund you or offer to replace it with another product.

However, many merchants voluntarily choose to implement an exchange and refund policy. If such a policy is in place, they must follow it. If you are unsure about your purchase, first check to see if the merchant has such a policy and what the terms and exceptions are.


Happy shopping!