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Termination Assistants and Consumer Protection: Compliance with Section 312k of the German Civil Code (BGB)

This post is also available in: Deutsch

Cancel button

Pursuant to Section 312k of the German Civil Code (BGB), it is a legal requirement for companies offering online continuing obligations to provide their customers with an efficient and user-friendly option for termination. These regulations in the German Civil Code, which came into force last year in 2022, oblige the operator of a website (or service) on which consumers are enabled to conclude a contract in electronic commerce to fulfill certain obligations.

These obligations include ensuring that the consumer can make a declaration on the website for the ordinary or extraordinary termination of a contract that can be concluded on the website via a cancellation button. The cancellation button must be legibly labeled with nothing other than the words “Cancel Contracts Here” or with appropriate clear wording.

In addition, the entrepreneur must immediately confirm to the consumer the content as well as the date and time of receipt of the termination declaration and the time at which the contractual relationship is to be terminated by the termination in text form by electronic means.

These legal requirements underscore the importance of consumer protection in the digital age and the need for companies to implement clear and efficient termination processes.

What did the Koblenz Regional Court have to decide?

At 1und1, a cancellation wizard was offered in addition to the cancellation button, which led to a lawsuit due to § 312k BGB. However, the court ruled that the termination assistant did not violate the law as long as the termination options were easily accessible and could be found without difficulty.

The court’s decision is based on the assumption that consumers can understand the difference between an immediate cancellation and a cancellation assistant. The term “assistant” indicates that it is an assistance for termination, not the fastest termination method. The position of the cancellation assistant on the website must not cause the cancellation button to be overlooked. Both options must be presented equally, and neither must be designed more attractively to attract more attention.

The ruling of the Koblenz Regional Court is an important step in the development of case law on the subject of cancellation buttons. It shows that consumer protection and flexibility in terminating contracts can go hand in hand. It remains to be seen how case law will develop in this area.


It is important to emphasize that companies offering a termination assistant must ensure that it complies with the requirements of Section 312k of the German Civil Code. This means that the cancellation button must be easy to find and access, and that the cancellation assistant must not be used to distract attention from the cancellation button.

Overall, this ruling shows that a cancellation assistant can be an effective and legally compliant alternative to the cancellation button, as long as it meets the requirements of consumer protection.

Marian Härtel

Marian Härtel

Marian Härtel is a lawyer and entrepreneur specializing in copyright law, competition law and IT/IP law, with a focus on games, esports, media and blockchain.


03322 5078053


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