Common Questions

I bought something online and now I want to cancel. Can I do that?

When you buy goods or services by phone or mail order, or over the Internet, you may be making what is called a distance sales contract. The resources below explain what this contract means and the situations in which you may be able to cancel the contract.

Good starting points include:

  • Small Claims Solution Explorer, from Civil Resolution Tribunal, is a tool for helping people manage and resolve disputes in BC. Select “Buying and Selling Goods and Services” and explore your options through information, videos, and template letters.
  • Shopping by Phone, Mail or the Internet, from the Canadian Bar Association BC Branch, explains the laws that apply to shopping online and what your options are.
  • Better Business Bureau Consumer Tips, from the Better Business Bureau of Mainland British Columbia, provides an extensive list of consumer tips, organized alphabetically. See the section on “Online Shopping”.
  • Consumer Law and Credit/Debt Law, from the Legal Services Society, is a manual for paralegals, legal information counselors, and lawyers. It includes information on distance sales contracts in the chapter on “Contracts: opting out and cooling-off periods”.

Need more help?

  • If you have explored your options and now want to seek advice from a lawyer, contact Lawyer Referral Service from the Canadian Bar Association BC Branch. They offer an initial consultation of up to 30 minutes with a lawyer for $25.

See our related common questions:

Last reviewed November 2017
online shopping, contracts, consumer rights, distance sales contracts, ecommerce