Deciphering terms and conditions: Five points that everyone overlooks

  • Consumer Law: Not all standard contract terms are allowed
  • Caution: You should pay attention to these five points of the General Terms and Conditions be careful when shopping
  • Consumers can do this if the fine print does not comply with the law

As soon as we are somewhere than buyers occur, we include more or less expressly with the sellers Purchase contract away. In most cases, the conditions for the conclusion of the contract are set by the Terms and Conditions (GTC) of the provider regulated. But these often violate existing laws and are therefore ineffective. That means a Purchase contract is not come about came.

Consumer law: Contract terms are regulated by law

In principle, the. applies to all citizens in Germany private autonomy. This means that not only can anyone conclude contracts with anyone, but also in terms of content great freedom of design consists. Even the external form is only prescribed in certain cases. An oral contract can therefore apply in the same way as a written one. Still have to existing laws are observed will. This not only applies to the terms and conditions of banks and insurance companies or when shopping in the supermarket, but also when pulling chewing gum or cigarettes from vending machines.

To do this, however, it is necessary to give customers the Terms and Conditions to make accessible. These can be printed out in a written contract or displayed in so-called mass transactions such as in a shop, in the cinema or in the parking lot at the entrance or in front of the cash register. If you as a customer enter a shop, go to the checkout and place goods on the counter or the conveyor belt, this is considered offer from you, one Purchase contract to want to complete. As soon as the cashier tells you the price for the desired products, they have accepted your offer. This is a legally effective contract developed. However, this only applies if the terms and conditions are lawful.

But what about shopping at a flea market or bazaar? What if you are with others private individuals doing business? In these cases, there are usually no special contractual conditions. The legal rules apply here Provisions of the German Civil Code (BGB).

The small print and its consequences: You should know this about the general terms and conditions

To check the terms and conditions you should first of all note these five points:

  1. As a customer, you have a Right on it, the Terms of Contract on the spot at the current time and the terms and conditions yet to be noted before purchasing. So first make sure that you read the terms and conditions at all in an appropriate manner accessible be made. For example, companies must not excuse themselves by saying that the necessary sign is basically there and only temporarily gone or tell you that the slip of paper with the general terms and conditions will not be available again until next week.
  2. When buying a ticket, it is not enough if the terms and conditions are only available to you on the ticket you have already purchased. So make sure you check out a notice on the machine or at least in the immediate vicinity.
  3. If the above conditions are met and you accept the provisions of the Terms and Conditions, they are effective part of the contract become, which you subsequently still accept must. If the legal requirements are met, you can not with all conditions I Agree are, you still should before the conclusion of the contract point out or on the purchase dispense.
  4. Do you only find out afterwards that one or more of the general terms and conditions? violate existing laws do you have the right to contract undone to do and claim your money back. This applies, for example, if an online retailer wants to exclude the legally guaranteed right of return.
  5. Yours too Be silent can as acceptance of the terms of the contract apply if you pay the purchase price without a word and pack the goods. In this case, you can no longer claim later that you were with the Exclusion of the right of exchange disagreed; provided this is stated in the terms and conditions.

Conclusion: So it is always better if you read the terms and conditions carefully before making a purchase and consider whether you want to accept them at all. If not, it may well be worth looking for another store.

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