Israeli Lawmakers Aim to Give Pensioners, Immigrants, Disabled Extra Time to Cancel Transactions

Under the amendment, the specified people, who are considered weaker than consumers at large, would have four months to cancel a transaction.

Olivier Fitoussi

The Knesset Finance Committee on Wednesday gave its final approval for an amendment to the Consumer Protection Law that would give pensioners, new immigrants and people with various limitations extra protection. Under the amendment, these people, who tend to be poorer than consumers at large, would have four months to cancel a transaction.

The Consumer Protection Law currently gives all people 14 days to cancel a transaction.

The proposal was submitted by MK Itzik Shmueli along with more than 70 other MKs from the coalition and opposition. Initially, it had sought to extend consumer protection for these groups to six months, but it was shortened as part of a compromise.

The current amendment grants extra protection to people over age 65, new immigrants and people with physical or mental limitations, because the ability of these individuals to make informed decisions may be impaired. They will be permitted to cancel purchases from peddlers, or transactions made by phone or online, for up to four months from the date of the transaction.

This will apply to online transactions only in cases of aggressive marketing, such as when an offer was given for a limited period of time.

The transaction must be canceled in writing, either by fax or by email.

The amendment will take effect 30 days after being published, and will apply to new purchases from that point.

In discussions on the amendment, MKs heard the stories of elderly individuals and others who found themselves in debt after making purchases pushed by aggressive marketing.

“This law changes the equation for consumers. The days of taking advantage of certain segments of the population are over,” said Shmueli.

He had particularly harsh words for the cellular companies. “I don’t know what they’re going to do with all the tablets they intended to push on the elderly, but you can expect that tablet prices will go down now,” he said.