Special requirements for contracts concluded electronically (e.g. web shops)
For distance contracts concluded electronically (e.g. contracts concluded via web shops, internet platforms, apps or game consoles), certain special rules must be complied with.
The following special rules apply only if the distance contract concluded electronically did not come into being exclusively by electronic mail (e.g. email, SMS, telephone) or a comparable individual electronic means of communication.
In general, these rules also apply to entrepreneurs from EU Member States in Austria.
If a contract is concluded merely through the exchange of SMS or emails between the consumer and the trader, this does not therefore result in the following special rules being applicable.
Special rules to be complied with
- The trader must inform the consumer of the following points in a clear and prominent manner (e.g. by enlarging the font, changing the font or font colour) immediately before the consumer declares his/her acceptance of the contract (e.g. before placing the final order for goods):
- the main characteristics of the goods or service
- the total price inclusive of taxes, and, where applicable, freight, delivery and postal charges or, if this is not possible, the manner in which the price is to be calculated
- in the cases of contracts of indeterminate duration or subscription contracts, the total costs incurred for each billing period or, if this is not possible, the manner in which the price is to be calculated
- where applicable, the duration of the contract or the conditions for termination in the case of contracts of indeterminate duration or contracts to be extended automatically
- where applicable, the minimum duration of the consumer’s obligations under the contract
This information must be provided to the consumer directly before the final order is placed (e.g. by pressing the order button).
- The trader must ensure that the consumer, when placing his/her order, explicitly acknowledges that the order implies an obligation to pay.
If placing an order entails activating a button or a similar function, the button or similar function must be labelled with the words ‘order with obligation to pay’ or a corresponding unambiguous formulation.
An example of a ‘corresponding unambiguous formulation’ is the phrase ‘book with obligation to pay’.
If the trader does not comply with this special duty of notification, the consumer is not bound by the contract. In such cases, the consumer can decide for himself/herself whether to adhere to the contract and require the trader to perform it or whether to refuse to conclude the contract.
- The trader must clearly and unambiguously indicate on his/her website, at the beginning of the ordering process at the latest, whether there are any delivery restrictions and which means of payment are accepted.
Since 1 July 2015, the aforementioned special rules have also applied to package travel contracts concluded in the manner described above. For contracts for healthcare services and contracts for social services concluded in the manner described above, compliance with the rules regarding the order button has also been required since 1 July 2015.
Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of Justice