General Terms and Conditions of Thuiswinkel
These General Terms and Conditions of the Dutch Thuiswinkel Organisation were drawn up in consultation with the Consumentenbond consumers’ association within the framework of the Self-Regulation Co-ordination Group (CZ) of the Social and Economic Council and will become operable as of 1 January 2011.
These General Conditions shall be used by all members of the Dutch Thuiswinkel Organisation with the exception of financial services pursuant to the Financial Supervision Act (Wft) and as far as these services are subject to supervision by the Netherlands Authority for Financial Markets (AFM).
- Article 2 – Identity of the company
- Article 3 – Applicability
- Article 6 - Right of withdrawal
- Article 7 - Costs in a case of withdrawal
- Article 8 - Exclusion of the right of withdrawal
- Article 10 - Conformity and warranty
- Article 11 - Delivery and execution
- Article 12 - Long-term transactions
- Article 14 - Complaint handling
- Article 16 - Branch guarantee
- Article 17 – Additional and contrary provisions
- Article 18 - Amendment to the general terms and conditions of Thuiswinkel
Article 1 – Definitions
The following definitions apply in these terms and conditions:
- Cooling-off period: the period during which the consumer may make use of his right of withdrawal
- Consumer: the natural person who does not act in the carrying out of a profession or a business and enters into a distance contract with the company
- Day: calendar day
- Long-term transaction: a distance contract relating to a series of products and/or services of which the obligation to deliver and/or purchase is spread over time
- Sustainable data carrier: any means by which the consumer or the company can record his personal information in such a way as to enable its future consultation and unchanged reproduction
- Right of withdrawal: the possibility for the consumer to withdraw from the distance contract within the cooling-off period
- Company: the natural or legal person offering the distance products and/or services to consumers
- Distance contract: an agreement whereby use is made exclusively of one or more distance communication techniques in the context of a system organised by the company for distance sales of products and/or services up to and including closing the agreement
- Remote communication technique: a means that can be used for closing an agreement without consumer and company meeting one another
Article 2 - Identity of the company Company’s name: Solits VOF
Trading under the name/names: Solits
Registered address & visiting address:
Zwethkade Zuid 4
2635 CT Den Hoorn
From Monday till Friday, from 8:00 till 18:00
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chamber of Commerce reg. no.: 30175883
VAT ID no.: NL812632382B01
Should the activity of the company be subject to a relevant licensing system: the data of the supervising authority
Should the company practice a regulated profession:
- the professional association or organisation with which it is affiliated
- the professional title, the town/city in the EU or EEA where this was granted
- a reference to the professional rules that apply in the Netherlands and instructions as to where and how these professional rules can be accessed
Article 3 – Applicability
- These general terms and conditions apply to every offer made by the company and to every distance contract that is realised between the company and a consumer.
- Prior to the conclusion of the distance contract, the text of these general terms and conditions will be made available to the consumer. If this is not reasonably possible, the company will indicate, before the distance contract is concluded, that the general terms and conditions are available for inspection at the company’s premises and that they will be sent free of charge to the consumer, as quickly as possible, at the consumer’s request.
- If the distance contract is concluded electronically, then, contrary to the previous paragraph, and before the distance contract is concluded, the consumer will be provided with the text of these general terms and conditions electronically, in such a way that the consumer can easily store them on a sustainable data carrier. If this is not reasonably possible, then before concluding the distance contract, the company will indicate where the general terms and conditions can be inspected electronically and that at his request they will be sent to the consumer, free of charge, either electronically or in some other way.
- In cases where specific product- or service-related terms and conditions apply in addition to these general terms and conditions, the second and third paragraphs apply by analogy and the consumer can always invoke the applicable condition that is most favourable to him in the event of conflicting general terms and conditions.
Article 4 – The offer
- If an offer is subject to a limited period of validity or is made subject to conditions, this will be explicitly mentioned in the offer.
- The offer contains a complete and accurate description of the products and/or services being offered. The description is sufficiently detailed to enable the consumer to make a proper assessment of the offer. If the company makes use of illustrations, these will be a true representation of the products and/or services being offered. The company is not bound by obvious errors or mistakes in the offer.
- Every offer will contain such information that makes it clear to the consumer what rights and obligations are involved in accepting the offer. This includes, in particular:
- the price, including taxes
- any costs of delivery
- the way in which the contract shall be concluded and which actions this will require
- whether or not the right of withdrawal applies
- the method of payment, delivery or implementation of the contract
- the period for accepting the offer, or the period for adhering to the price
- the size of the tariff for remote communication, if the costs of using the remote communication technique are calculated on some other basis than the basic tariff
- if a contract is filed subsequent to its conclusion, the way in which this can be accessed by the consumer
- the way in which the consumer can obtain information about actions he does not wish to undertake before concluding a contract, as well as the way he can rectify these before the contract is concluded
- the languages in which, in addition to Dutch, the contract can be concluded
- the codes of conduct to which the company is subject and the way in which the consumer can consult these codes of conduct electronically
- the minimum duration of the distance contract, in the case of a long-term transaction
Article 5 – The contract
- The contract will be concluded, subject to that which is stipulated in paragraph 4, at the moment at which the consumer accepts the offer and the conditions thereby stipulated have been fulfilled.
- If the consumer has accepted the offer electronically, the company will immediately confirm receipt of acceptance of the offer electronically. The consumer can dissolve the contract as long as this acceptance has not been confirmed.
- If the contract is concluded electronically, the company will take suitable technical and organisational measures to secure the electronic transfer of data and it will ensure a secure web environment. If the consumer is able to pay electronically, the company will take suitable security measures.
- The company may obtain information – within the framework of the laws in force – about the consumer’s ability to fulfil his payment obligations, as well as about facts and factors that are important for the responsible conclusion of the distance contract. If that investigation gives the company proper grounds for declining to conclude the contract, then it has a right, supported by reasons, to reject an order or application or to bind its implementation to special conditions.
- Together with the product or service, the company will send to the consumer the following information, in writing, or in such a way that the consumer can store it on an sustainable data carrier:
- the office address of the company’s business location where the consumer can lodge complaints
- the conditions under which the consumer can make use of the right of withdrawal and the method for so doing, or a clear statement relating to the exclusion of the right of withdrawal
- information about guarantees and after-sales service
- the data included in article 4, paragraph 3 of these conditions, unless the company has already provided the consumer with these prior to concluding the contract
- the requirements for terminating the contract, if the duration of the contract exceeds one year or is of indefinite duration
- In the case of a long-term transaction, the stipulation in the previous paragraph only applies to the first delivery.
Article 6 - Right of withdrawal
Upon delivery of products:
- When products are purchased, the consumer can dissolve the agreement, without statement of reason, within 14 days of purchase. The start of this period is on the first day after the receipt of the product by the consumer or a representative previously designated by the consumer and announced to the company.
- During this cooling-off period the consumer will treat the product and its packaging with care. He will only unpack or use the product as far as necessary in order to be able to assess whether he wishes to retain the product. If he wishes to exercise his right of withdrawal, then he will return the product to the company, with all associated components, and – in as far as this is reasonably possible – in the original state and packaging, in accordance with the reasonable and clear instructions that were provided by the company.
Upon delivery of services:
- When services are supplied, the consumer can dissolve the agreement, without statement of reason, within 14 days of purchase, starting on the day the contract was concluded.
- In order to make use of his right of withdrawal, the consumer will act in accordance with the reasonable and clear instructions that the company provided when the offer was made and/or at the latest upon delivery.
Article 7 – Costs in a case of withdrawal
- If a consumer makes use of his right of withdrawal, he shall be responsible for, at most, the costs of returning the goods.
- If the consumer has paid a sum, the company will refund this sum as quickly as possible, though at the latest within 30 days after the goods were returned or after the withdrawal.
Article 8 – Exclusion of the right of withdrawal
- The company can preclude the consumer from having a right of withdrawal as far is provided for in paragraph 2 and 3 of this article. The preclusion of the right of withdrawal is only valid if the company clearly stated this fact when making the offer, or at least in good time prior to conclusion of the contract.
- Preclusion from the right of withdrawal is only possible for products:
- that have been created by the company in accordance with the consumer’s specifications
- that are clearly of a personal nature
- that cannot be returned due to their nature
- that are liable to deteriorate or expire rapidly
- the price of which is subject to fluctuations on the financial market over which the company has no influence
- for individual newspapers and magazines
- for audio- and video-recordings and computer software, whereby the consumer has broken the seal
- Preclusion from the right of withdrawal is only possible for services:
- a)relating to accommodation, transport, restaurant business or leisure activities to be carried out on a given date or during a given period
- the supply of which commenced, with the explicit consent of the consumer, before the cooling-off period had lapsed
- relating to bets and lotteries
Article 9 - The price
- During the period of validity indicated in the offer, the prices of the products and/or services being offered will not be increased, except for price changes in VAT tariffs.
- Contrary to the previous paragraph, the company may offer products or services at variable prices, in cases where these prices are subject to fluctuations in the financial market over which the company has no influence. The offer must refer to this link with fluctuations and the fact that any prices mentioned are recommended prices.
- Price increases within 3 months after the contract was concluded are only permitted if they are the result of statutory regulations or stipulations.
- Price increases more than 3 months after the contract was concluded are only permitted if the company stipulated as much and:
- they are the result of statutory regulations or stipulations; or
- the consumer is authorised to terminate the contract on the day on which the price increase takes effect.
- Prices stated in offers of products or services include VAT.
Article 10 – Conformity and warranty
- The company guarantees that the products and/or services fulfil the contract, the specifications stated in the offer, the reasonable requirements of reliability and/or serviceability and the statutory stipulations and/or government regulations that existed on the date that the contract was concluded. If agreed, the company also ensures that the product is suitable for other than normal use.
- The warranty provided by the company, manufacturer or importer does not affect the legal rights and claims that the consumer can assert against the company under the agreement.
Article 11 - Delivery and execution
- The company will take the greatest possible care when receiving and implementing orders for products and when assessing applications for the provision of services.
- The place of delivery is deemed to be the address that the consumer provided to the company.
- Taking into consideration that which is stated in article 4 of these general terms and conditions, the company will implement accepted orders with efficient expedition, though at the latest within 30 days, unless a longer period of delivery has been agreed. If delivery suffers a delay, or if the delivery cannot be executed, or only partially, the consumer will be informed about this at the latest 30 days after the order was placed. In this case, the consumer has a right to dissolve the contract at no charge and the right to compensation for possible damages.
- In the case of dissolution in accordance with the previous paragraph, the company will refund the consumer with the sum paid as quickly as possible, though at the latest within 30 days after that dissolution.
- Should delivery of a product that has been ordered prove impossible, the company will attempt to provide a replacement article. The fact that a replacement article is being supplied will be stated in a clear and comprehensible manner, at the latest upon delivery. The right of withdrawal cannot be precluded in the case of replacement articles. The costs of return shipments will be charged to the company.
- The risk of damage and/or loss of products is borne by the company up to the moment of delivery to the consumer or a predesignated and announced representative, unless otherwise expressly agreed.
Article 12 - Long-term transactions
- The consumer has the right at all times to terminate a contract that has been concluded for an indefinite period of time, taking into consideration the applicable termination rules and a termination period of at the most one month.
- The maximum validity of a contract concluded for an indefinite period of time is two years. If the distance contract contains a tacit renewal clause, the contract will be continued as a contract for an indefinite period of time and the maximum period of notice after continuation of the contract will be one month.
Article 13 – Payment
- As far as no other date has been agreed, sums payable by the consumer shall be paid within 14 days after the start of the withdrawal period as stipulated in article 6 paragraph 1. In the case of a contract to provide a service this 14 day period begins when the consumer receives the company’s confirmation of the contract.
- When selling products to consumers, the general terms and conditions may never stipulate an advance payment in excess of 50%. Where advance payment is stipulated, the consumer cannot invoke any rights whatsoever in relation to the implementation of the order or service(s) in question before the stipulated advance payment has been made.
- The consumer is obliged to report immediately to the company any inaccuracies in payment data provided or stated.
- In the event of non-payment on the part of the consumer, the company has the right, subject to statutory limitations, to charge the consumer reasonable costs about which the consumer was informed in advance.
Article 14 – Complaint handling
- The company has a published complaints procedure and shall handle the complaint in conformity with this complaints procedure.
- Complaints about the performance of the contract must be submitted to the company without delay, described in a complete and comprehensible manner, after the consumer has discovered the defects.
- A reply to complaints submitted to the company will be provided within a period of 14 days, calculated from the date of receipt. If it is anticipated that more time will be required to process the complaint, the company will reply within 14 days, confirming receipt and indicating when the consumer can expect a more extensive response.
- A complaint about a product, a service or the company’s service can also be submitted via a complaints form on the consumer’s page of the website of the Dutch Thuiswinkel Organisation, www.thuiswinkel.org. The complaint is then sent to both the company concerned and the Dutch Thuiswinkel Organisation.
- If the complaint cannot be resolved in joint consultation, the dispute will become subject to the disputes settlement mechanism.
Article 15 - Disputes
- Contracts entered into between the company and the consumer and which are subject to these general terms and conditions are subject only to Dutch law.
- Disputes between the consumer and the company over the conclusion or exercising of contracts relating to products and services to be supplied by this company can be brought before the Thuiswinkel Disputes Committee, P.O. Box 90600, 2509 LP in The Hague (www.sgc.nl).
- A dispute brought before the Disputes Committee will only be dealt with if the consumer has first submitted his complaint to the company without delay.
- The dispute shall be submitted to the Thuiswinkel Disputes Committee in writing within three months after the dispute has arisen.
- If the consumer decides to submit the dispute to the Thuiswinkel Disputes Committee, the company is bound by this decision. If the company intends to do so, the consumer shall declare in writing, within five weeks after the request for the submission by the company, whether he wants the dispute to be settled by the Thuiswinkel Disputes Committee or a competent judge. If the consumer fails to make this declaration to the company within five weeks, the company is entitled to submit the dispute to a competent judge.
- The Thuiswinkel Disputes Committee shall make an award subject to the conditions set out in the rules of procedure of the Thuiswinkel Disputes Committee. The awards of the Thuiswinkel Disputes Committee are to be considered as a binding third-party ruling.
- The Thuiswinkel Disputes Committee shall not deal, nor continue to deal, with a submitted dispute if the company is granted suspension of payments, has been declared bankrupt or has de facto stopped its business operations, before the Thuiswinkel Disputes Committee has tried the dispute in a hearing and a final award has been made.
- If, in addition to the Thuiswinkel Disputes Committee, another recognised dispute resolution committee or a dispute resolution committee that is affiliated with the Consumer Affairs Dispute Resolution Committees Foundation (SGC, Stichting Geschillencommissies voor Consumentenzaken) or the Financial Services Complaints Board (Kifid, Klachteninstituut Financiële Dienstverlening), is competent, only the Thuiswinkel Disputes Committee is competent in disputes mainly concerning the manner of distance sales and services. For all other disputes the other recognised dispute resolution committee or dispute resolution committee that is affiliated with the SGC or Kifid, shall be competent.
Article 16 – Branch guarantee
- The Dutch Thuiswinkel Organisation guarantees the fulfillment of obligations of its members in relation to binding advices imposed on them by the Thuiswinkel Disputes Committee, unless the member decides to put the binding advice before a law court for verification within two months after the date of that advice. In case of law court verification, the suspension of the guarantee will end and the guarantee will come into effect again upon the court ruling becoming final and conclusive, whereby the court has declared that the binding advice has binding effect. Up to a maximum sum of €10,000 per binding advice, the Dutch Thuiswinkel Organisation will pay this sum to the consumer. In case of sums higher than €10,000 per binding advice, the sum of €10,000 will be paid. To the extent the sum is higher than €10,000 the Dutch Thuiswinkel Organisation has the obligation to take reasonable adequate efforts to pursue the member to fulfil the binding advice.
- Application of this guarantee requires the consumer to submit a written appeal to the Dutch Thuiswinkel Organisation and to transfer his claim on the company to the Dutch Thuiswinkel Organisation. To the extent the claim against the company exceeds the sum of €10,000, the consumer will be offered the option of transferring his claim against the company in excess of €10,000 to the Dutch Thuiswinkel Organisation, after which this organisation will pursue payment of the consumer’s claim in court in its own name and at its own expense.
Article 17 – Additional and contrary provisions
Additional provisions or provisions contrary to these general terms and conditions shall not prejudice the interests of the consumer and shall be concluded in writing or in such a manner that these can easily be saved on a sustainable data carrier.
Article 18 - Amendment to the general terms and conditions of Thuiswinkel
- The Nederlandse Thuiswinkel Organisation will not change these general terms and conditions without consulting the Consumentenbond consumers’ association.
- Changes to these general terms and conditions will only enter into force after they are published in the appropriate manner, notwithstanding the fact that in case of changes during the valid period of an offer, the provisions most favourable for the consumer will prevail.
Address of the Dutch Thuiswinkel Organisation: P.O. Box 7001, 6710 CB EDE, The Netherlands