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Opinion – Maria Inês Dolci: The right to repent is a little-known jewel for consumers


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The right of repentance is still little known. Many consumers are unaware that, according to article nº 49 of the CDC (Consumer Protection Code), it is possible to withdraw from a contract within seven days of signing or receiving the product or service, for purchases outside the store (in website, telephone or at home). Therefore, bill 719/2019 (attached to PL 6321/2005) is opportune, which intends to oblige store websites to clearly inform this guarantee, reinforcing another right: information.

As the CDC was enacted in 1990 and entered into force in 1991, a time when we didn’t even dream of purchasing products and services from a microcomputer or cell phone, it is even more evident that the specialists who elaborated it created legislation that survives the changes in the consumption profile.

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The sole paragraph of this article should also be better known: “If the consumer exercises the right of repentance provided for in this article, the amounts eventually paid, in any capacity, during the reflection period, will be returned, immediately, monetarily updated”.

It is important to understand the meaning of this “repentance”. It may result from the realization, after the impulse purchase, that that transaction is beyond the buyer’s means. Or the disappointment of realizing that the product looked better in the advertisement than it actually is. It may also be a consequence of dissatisfaction with non-compliance with the delivery deadline, inadequate packaging and handling or poor conservation conditions of the purchased item.

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With the expressive growth of e-commerce —purchases in virtual stores and marketplaces—, it is even more relevant that consumers know and know how to use the right to repentance. And that companies understand, now, that they must reimburse the customer, including monetary restatement, which is also fundamental in a country subject to inflationary surges —for example, in the double digits in 2021.

So let’s keep an eye on the processing of this PL in the Chamber of Deputies. If approved, consumer rights in virtual commerce will be strengthened.

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