Withdrawal from download contracts by the consumer


In general, these rules also apply to entrepreneurs from EU Member States in Austria.

In the case of contracts for download software and apps (e.g. contracts for the downloading of computer programs, music or games), the consumer is always entitled to withdraw from the contract if the online shop operator has not yet provided a service. However, this is subject to the condition that the software purchased is not stored on a CD or DVD, as otherwise the rules on withdrawal from sales contracts apply.

For example, if the consumer decides, before a computer game is downloaded, that he/she does not actually wish to purchase that game, he/she may withdraw from the contract within the withdrawal period. If consideration has already been paid for the computer game, it can be claimed back.

The consumer does not have a right of withdrawal if the online shop operator has already started the delivery (e.g. the computer game has already been downloaded) before the withdrawal period has expired, and

  • the consumer has expressly consented to early performance of the contract (i.e. performance of the contract before the expiry of the withdrawal period),
  • the consumer has been made aware that he/she no longer has a right of withdrawal in the event that performance of the contract is commenced early (before the end of the withdrawal period),
  • and the online shop operator has provided confirmation of the concluded contract on a durable medium (e.g. email) which also shows the consumer’s consent and his/her awareness of the loss of the right of withdrawal. The confirmation of the contract concluded must also contain the statutory information requirements.

If one of the aforementioned conditions has not been met, the consumer does indeed have a right of withdrawal from the contract even if the online shop operator has already started to perform the service (e.g. the download process of the computer game has already started). In such a case, he/she does not have to pay any consideration for services already provided by the online shop operator.

Legal basis

Fern- und Auswärtsgeschäfte-Gesetz (FAGG)

Translated by the European Commission
Last update: 16 February 2021

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of Justice

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