New Law Would Allow Elderly, Olim Back Out of ‘Questionable’ Purchases

An aide takes care of an elderly Israeli man sitting in a wheelchair. Photo by Abir Sultan/Flash90
An aide takes care of an elderly Israeli man sitting in a wheelchair. (Abir Sultan/Flash90)

The Knesset Economics Committee on Wednesday authorized for its second and third reading a law that will allow individuals 65 and older, as well as new immigrants and individuals recognized as being mentally challenged, up to four months to back out of a purchase made on the phone or online, where there was doubt as to whether or not they understood the conditions of the purchase.

The law, proposed by MK Itzik Shmueli, is set to be voted upon by the Knesset before the summer recess later this month.

Under the law, individuals who feel they have been cheated will be able to appeal to a special committee, supplying a request to cancel a sale in writing. Officials will investigate the seller to determine if aggressive sales tactics were used to make the sale, taking into account e-mail campaigns, chat agents and conditions listed on sites.

During the discussion, members of the committee heard stories from victims of scams who talked about losing tens of thousands of shekels on deals that they had no idea they agreed to. “If there’s one thing that drives me crazy, it is taking advantage of helpless people,” said Shmueli. “This law flips the equation, putting the burden on the sellers instead of the consumers. No longer will weak or uninformed consumers be taken advantage of. This is an important accomplishment.”