Consumer Protection Laws on Online and Telephone Purchases Strengthened

internet purchase legal protection spain

The Spanish Cabinet has in the past week agreed on new legislation to be presented to Parliament for it’s approval that will strengthen consumer rights relating to contracts for the purchase of goods and services that are concluded at distance. A contract is said to be concluded at distance if the transaction takes place  either over the phone or by internet, or is said to have been concluded outside of the commercial enterprise’s establishment.

The law will implement European Regulation 2011/83/EU which takes note of the increase in purchases being made by consumers over the internet and consequently the need to protect the rights of consumers in this regard.

The Spanish government noted that in Spain alone, in 2012, there were 350,000 complaints made by Consumers Associations on behalf of individual consumers regarding utilities such as telecommunication, energy, water and insurance products.

Implementation of the new legislation will eliminate anomalies in European legislation regulating consumer rights and will improve legal certainty for both consumers and the businesses that sell to them.

Principal Changes

  • To avoid hidden charges, the company selling to the consumer must display the final price before the transaction is concluded. Should the consumer not receive the final price from the beginning of the transaction, they may recover any difference.
  • The commercial entity may not make additional charges for the use of specific methods of payment – such as credit cards – over and above the actual cost to the commercial entity of using such methods of payment.
  • The period during which a consumer may decide to return the product and thus terminate the contract is extended to 14 days from 7 days. If this right to return is not made clear to the consumer by the company during the sales process, the period is extended to 12 months from the date of purchase.
  • If a company provides a telephone number to facilitate communication with consumers it cannot result in charges over and above the standard tariff.
  • Where a sales call is made by  a commercial entity to a consumer, the nature of the call as well as the identity of the caller  must be made clear at the beginning of the call.
  • A sale by telephone will only every be concluded once the consumer’s agreement is verified in writing either in writing, by fax, email or SMS text.
  • Where a purchase is made in the course of a promotional excursion or event, it shall be considered to have taken place outside of the commercial enterprise’s establishment, and therefore subject to the enhanced protection afforded to consumers under the new legislation.
  • Anyone selling a product or service via internet or telephone must advise the purchaser as to the existence of any legal guarantee relating to any goods so acquired.

The reforms, while broadly welcomed, have also been criticised by the OCU consumers association that points to the lack of sanctions available to penalise companies who do not comply with the new legislation. The new legislation will now be debated in Parliament before final approval and entry into law.

52 Lawyers Offering Services in Spain

Testimonials for Litigation
  • Dean Hugues
    Dean Hugues, Catral, Alicante (Spain)

    Did the job I needed doing extremely well. Couldn't have asked for better service. Everything was spot on!

    Jul 09, 2019
  • Andy Docksey
    Andy Docksey, La Cala de Mijas

    Alvaro is very professional, he is very polite and helpful, he responds very quickly and I would definitely use his service again and recommend him to others.

    Jul 08, 2019
  • Max Henchy
    Max Henchy, Puerto Banus- Estepona

    He was very professional and extremely helpful! Also incredibly quick and efficient.

    Thanks to him my life has changed drastically for the better! He went out of his way to help me and my family.

    May 24, 2019
  • Angela Panuccio
    Angela Panuccio, Granada

    Alvaro was extremely helpful. I would recommend his services to others.

    May 23, 2019
  • Dane Beddall
    Dane Beddall, Palma de Mallorca

    Rosa was very professional and gave good advice, it was nice to meet such a nice lady.

    Apr 10, 2019
  • Sham Naib
    Sham Naib, Callao Salvaje, Tenerife

    My lawyer Oliver was very helpful, always happy to assist. He professionally checked the law before dispensing advice.

    May 18, 2018
  • Joy Ellis
    Joy Ellis, Sanxenxo

    Sabela was extremely professional in her dealings with us, very patient and understanding of the situation and gave very good advice and a good solution to our problem. She is bilingual.

    We feel very confident that she has dealt with the complaint against a third party and know that if we need any further assistance in this matter she will be more than able to resolve it for us.

    She responded immediately to our contact and arranged a meeting on site to enable us to explain fully the problem we had.

    May 01, 2018
  • Patrick Martel
    Patrick Martel, Canada

    For being in another country and all our back and forth communicating over emails .. I thought Rosa did a brilliant job.

    Thankfully she was able to help where no one else was willing ..

    Mar 07, 2018
  • Tomas M
    Tomas M, Czech Republic

    My lawyer Marcos had sufficient English and couldn't have done more to help. I would definitely use his services again.

    Nov 27, 2017
  • Richard McColvin
    Richard McColvin, Velez Blanco

    The lawyers were very professional and approachable and spoke excellent English.

    I felt that they provided good value for money also.

    Dec 20, 2016
  • Marina Ristic
    Marina Ristic, London

    Olga was responsive, understood the case and gave the right advice.

    Nov 28, 2016
  • Jill Clash
    Jill Clash, Lanzarote

    Found Erardo very helpful and understanding, felt very comfortable talking to him.

    Would definitely use his services again. Unfortunately after all the initial paperwork, payments, doctor and court visits the case was unable to go ahead as no-one was able to trace the owner of the premises where the incident occurred.

    Sep 13, 2016
Send Your Enquiry
Are there public holidays?

Enquiry sent. Thank you!

Please fix errors