Why do Consumers Rescind Products/Purchases?
Anneke Zwart, Student (University), Netherlands, Moderator
Why do consumers rescind (Editor: ~declare null and void) purchases they made?
Most developed countries have laws that protect consumers that enter contractual agreements by requiring a cooling-off period, i.e., a period in which consumers can rescind a product without any reason and without any further consequences.
But little is known about the psychology behind rescission. Sparks et al. (2014) did qualitative research to the reasons behind rescinding products. The authors found five fundamental concepts that lie behind rescission:
1. Personal Circumstances: these can range from divorce or marriage to illness, age and other priorities such as building a new kitchen. Those circumstances may have already been present at the time of the purchase. In that case, consumers use personal circumstances so as to feel exonerated from blame for their rescission. In most cases, however, personal circumstances have radically changed right after the purchase.