This article tries to explain the exceptional Spanish government measures to protect consumers during the COVID-19.
Due to new regulations of May the 22nd 2020 the 14 caelndar days term to apply for the cancellation of the contract by the consumer starts on June the 4th 2020 and it will finish on June the 18th 2020. After that, there will no chance to apply for the cancellation of the contract.
- In general: if contracts are impossible to fulfil due to COVID-19 measures they can be modified by mutual agreement of the parties. If no agreement is reached then the consumer can apply to cancel the contract within 14 days after the impossibility arose. Then the consumer must get the money paid back less the justified expenses due to the indemnity principle as the COVID-19 is not the company’s fault either. But the parties have to negotiate during at least 60 calendar days since the cancellation application.
- Specification for continual performance contracts: if they are impossible to fulfil due to COVID-19 measures there are several options: (a) the consumer keeps paying as usual but they will get the services after the emergency and when the company is able to provide them again, (b) the parties can agree a proportional price reduction to apply to the following instalments to be paid, equivalent to the service time not used by the consumer, (c) only if there is no agreement, the professional has to pay back to the consumer the monies paid for the service not used yet. There has to be a 60 days negotiation between the cancellation application and the cancellation itself. In any case, the company must not charge any instalments during the lack of service provided.
The general rule is that contracts must be honoured. Contracts can be cancelled when there is a reason for it which is due to Covid-19 measures. So it must be a direct link between the Covid-19 meausres and the non fulfilment. The reason to either to modify or cancel the contracts will be the impossibility fo fulfil caused by the Covid-19 measures. Only in these cases the speficific rules will apply. These rules try to maintain the contracts in the first place. Only if not possible it is allowed the cancellation and the consumers will receover their monies. But the regulations force the parties to negotiate 60 calendar days before cancellation and pay the monies back to the consumeres in order to avoid all the cancellation applications at once which could put some companies in a very difficult situation if they have to pay back a lot of moeny to the consumers. So the regulations are aimed to protect both the consumers and the companies at the same time.
Also, please beware of this EU warning about scam on social network and the internet: Commission and national consumer authorities are on high alert and call on platforms to stop scams and unfair practice.
Thank you for your time and attention and I hope this information is of use. You are very welcome to share if you liked it. You might be interested in this other posts on COVID-19: joint custody and visiting rights during COVID-19 and mortgage, loans and rent during COVID-19.
Please, note that this is general information. This is not specific legal advice. It is advisable to seek legal advice for any specific legal issue.
And remember, take care and stay alert.