Doorstep sellers and telemarketers will have to give consumers a “cooling-off” period under stricter new rules on on-the-spot sales.
Sales contracts signed on the doorstep or agreed by phone will only be valid once they have been confirmed in writing, economic affairs minister Micky Adriaansens said in a letter to MPs.
The statutory 14-day right to cancel without penalty will begin once the written contract has been received.
Adriaansens said she wanted to make sure “consumers get the time to make a conscious choice, just like in a shop or online, for example by comparing products and services”.
She said stricter rules were needed to protect vulnerable and elderly householders in particular from falling victim to aggressive cold callers.
The minister also said companies would be legally required to make sure that cancelling subscriptions online was just as straightforward as setting them up, following the example of France and Germany.
MPs have called for a total ban on selling energy contracts on the doorstep or by phone, after it emerged that some companies quoted much higher prices than they offered online and complaints were received of misleading sales practices.