Here's how the 'cooling-off period' works for consumers


136 days ago

If you buy anything as a result of direct marketing - be it an SMS, e-mail or a telesales phone call - you are legally entitled to five business days in which you can cancel, in writing, for a full refund.

This is known as the cooling-off period, according to the National Consumer Commission (NCC).

NCC acting commissioner Thezi Mabuza says all direct marketing deals are subject to the cooling-off period as outlined in the Consumer Protection Act (CPA).

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Most people agree to a new insurance policy or upgraded cellphone contract over the phone.

It's important that consumers ask for written contracts to be sent to them immediately after they have verbally agreed during a telesales deal, Mabuza explains.

This will give you the time to read through all the terms and conditions within the cooling-off period before making a final decision.

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In that time, the cooling-off period allows you to look at the contract and say to them I am now rescinding, I don't want a contract.

Thezi Mabuza, Acting Commissioner - National Consumer Commission

It's not a cancellation. It's that period where you have to inspect and read through the contract.

Thezi Mabuza, Acting Commissioner - National Consumer Commission

You are allowed five business days.

Thezi Mabuza, Acting Commissioner - National Consumer Commission

Mabuza adds that businesses must simplify their contracts and get rid of confusing legal jargon so that consumers can better understand the agreements they sign.

Listen to the consumer advice on Today with Kieno Kammies:

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Here's how the 'cooling-off period' works for consumers

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