General Terms and Conditions (T&C)
Last updated: 01.03.2023
General Terms and Conditions for the legal transactions of
PONS Langenscheidt GmbH,
Stöckachstraße 11, 70190 Stuttgart
1. General Information
These General Terms and Conditions (T&C) do not apply to commercial resellers.
Our supplies, services and offers are exclusively based on these T&C in the version which applies at the time the order is placed. They are part of all the agreements we conclude with our customers (hereinafter referred to as the “customer/you”) about the products we offer —in particular goods, digital online or offline products and online services.
Deviations from these T&C require our express consent to become effective.
We expressly reserve the right to make future changes to these T&C.
The minimum age for concluding a contract is 18. If the customer is a minor, the consent of a parent or legal guardian is required.
Contracts covering the supply of physical products (e.g. books, text books, other print media, boxed vocabulary training materials, CD-ROMs) are handled on behalf of PONS Langenscheidt GmbH by our distribution centres:
Germany - Stuttgarter Verlagskontor GmbH, Rotebühlstraße 77, D-70178 Stuttgart;
Switzerland - Balmer Bücherdienst AG, Kobiboden 3, CH-8840 Einsiedeln.
The distribution centres dispatch and invoice goods on their own behalf. Questions about your order, should be directed to:
Stuttgarter Verlagskontor GmbH
phone: +49 (0)711 6672 1100, fax: +49 (0)711 6672 988 090 009 11
Balmer Bücherdienst AG,
Tel. +41(0)55 418 89 89, Fax: +41 (0) 554188919
These T&C do not apply to products featuring forwarding “to our partner shop”. These products are supplied according to the conditions mentioned on the website of that partner.
The customer is a consumer if the purpose of the ordered supplies and services cannot be largely attributed to a commercial or self-employed professional activity. A business entity, however, is any natural or legal person or incorporated partnership acting in pursuit of a commercial or self-employed professional activity when concluding the contract.
2. Conclusion of web shop contract
The products by the brands PONS, Langenscheidt and Klett, which are presented in our online shop, e.g., on the www.pons.com, www.langenscheidt.com or www.klett-lerntraining.de websites, themselves do not constitute an offer to conclude a contract but are only an invitation to the customer to place an order.
By clicking the “Add to basket” button the customer can place the product into a virtual shopping basket. This action is non-binding and does not constitute an offer to enter into a contract. The customer can click the basket icon in the website toolbar at any time to view the contents of the shopping basket. Here the customer can check the selected products and other entries in the shopping basket for errors and correct them, if necessary. By clicking the “Buy now” button the customer submits a binding offer to purchase the products contained in the shopping basket.
In the case of orders placed via our web shop or by e-mail, after placing an order the customer receives an automatically generated confirmation of receipt sent to his or her e-mail address (“order confirmation”). With this order confirmation the customer receives the details of the order once more, together with our T&C. The order confirmation only documents receipt of the order and does not constitute acceptance of the order.
The contract between PONS Langenscheidt GmbH and the customer is concluded on delivery of the ordered products.
If the products selected by the customer are unavailable when the order is placed, we inform the customer about this immediately and refrain from accepting the order. In that case no contract is concluded. If we have already received payment this is immediately reimbursed to the customer.
If the product ordered by the customer is only temporarily unavailable, we also immediately inform the customer about this in the order confirmation. If the delivery is delayed by more than two weeks, the customer has the right to withdraw from the contract. The customer’s legal right of revocation (see Clause 4 of these T&C) remains unaffected by this. In such a case we are also entitled to withdraw from the contract. In the process, we immediately reimburse the customer for any payments already made.
We do not store the contractual text after the conclusion of the contract. Customers have the option to register a customer account with us. In that case the order data can be retrieved via the customer account.
The contractual language is German.
3. Registering as a customer; access data
In general, our websites which include the web shop and our online offerings can be used without registration unless otherwise specified in the product description or in conditions of use. Registration may be required to make full use of the offerings on our website.
To register, customers log in with their e-mail address and a password of their choice. The e-mail address and password enable customers to view and edit their data. Customers also have the option of giving themselves a user name of their choosing. Customers undertake to provide true information.
Customers must keep their e-mail address and password (“access data”) safe to ensure they cannot get lost or be disclosed to third parties. Customers must inform us immediately if there is substantiated suspicion of misuse of their access data. PONS Langenscheidt reserves the right to block access to the website in the event of abuse.
In this part we specify the provisions under which a user may use a dictionary or a dictionary package in the Langenscheidt Online Dictionary ("OWB") for use by one or more users.
There are various ways of using the OWB for a fee as part of a temporary subscription (hereinafter referred to collectively as "paid subscriptions").
4.1.1 Conclusion of a Named-User subscription by consumers or entrepreneurs within the meaning of these GTC:
The Named-User subscription consists of the following components: the dictionary or dictionary package covered by the subscription and the maximum number of additional users that can be registered for the subscription (Named Users).
In the Named-User subscription, each user is known to the OWB and must register via the website (in this case Section 4.4 of these OWB General Terms and Conditions applies).
4.1.2 Redeeming an access code: depending on the product, purchasers of a print product of the Langenscheidt brand, e.g. a Langenscheidt dictionary, receive an access code to the OWB with the print product. After successful registration and entry of the access code in the designated field on the website, the buyer then receives access to the dictionary available in the OWB for the purchased print product. As a Named-User subscription, this access is personally limited to the purchaser for a maximum period of 3 years starting from redemption of the code and is not automatically extended; ordinary termination is excluded in this respect.
4.1.3 Conclusion of an IP Range subscription:
Within the framework of the IP Range subscription, which cannot be concluded via the website, the subscriber (e.g. a company) must inform PONS Langenscheidt of the IP Range for which it wishes to activate the subscription. Access is granted to all users who access the OWB from a workstation within this IP range.
The right of use is granted for the number of users specified in the respective offer. An increase in the number of users is possible after prior written consent by PONS Langenscheidt against a corresponding increase in subscription fees. A reduction in the number of users is possible for the first time after the end of the agreed subscription period.
4.1.4 Free access for testing
In addition to the chargeable usage options, temporary test access to the OWB is granted free of charge as part of marketing measures. After successful registration for a test access, the OWB may be used free of charge for the period specified in each individual case.
4.2 Contractual partner
The user contract concluded for one of the paid subscriptions (the "subscription contract") is binding for PONS Langenscheidt GmbH ("PONS Langenscheidt") and the user (the "user" or "subscriber"). In the event that users register as an employee in the name or on behalf of a company or another legal entity, they declare with their registration/registration that they are entitled to enter into this contractual relationship on behalf of their company or for another legal entity in its name. In this case the company or legal entity is the contractual partner to PONS Langenscheidt.
4.3 Prerequisite for the use of the OWB
4.3.1 Subscribers with a paid subscription confirm that they are at least 18 years old and legally competent. In order to use a test account, users must be at least 14 years old and act with the consent of a parent or guardian.
4.4 Registration for the OWB and conclusion of the contract
4.4.1 Users who wish to activate a paid Named-User subscription for the use of the OWB, or who wish to redeem an access code or activate test access, must register with the OWB on the website once with their user data and a password of their choice.
4.4.2 If a paid Named-User subscription is concluded, the user can invite other users to access the OWB via the OWB administration interface (hereinafter referred to as "additional users"), unless the user has concluded this Named-User subscription by redeeming an access code. The maximum number of additional users results from the respective scope of services of the selected subscription.
Invited additional users register with OWB using their e-mail address and a password of their choice. Alternatively, the user can create additional users directly via the OWB administration interface. In this case the user assigns the passwords for the other users, who can later change them independently via the OWB administration interface.
Please note: the registration of an IP Range or Named-User account does not take place via the website and is regulated separately and individually.
4.5 Scope of services of the OWB
4.5.1 The user may use the search function of the OWB. For this purpose the dictionary or dictionaries that have been activated by the corresponding paid subscription or test access are accessed.
4.5.2 The use is limited to a maximum of 3 parallel http sessions per user, unless otherwise regulated within the scope of an IP Range subscription.
4.6 Subscription fees and payment
4.6.1 The fees for the OWB subscription are due at the beginning of the respective subscription period. Details of the subscription fees and payment methods can be found in the respective offer.
4.6.2 PONS Langenscheidt may interrupt the services or terminate their use if the fees have not been paid within 30 days of the due date.
4.6.3 PONS Langenscheidt may change the parameters that determine the price for the agreed use of the OWB for the future (price per dictionary or dictionary package, number of sessions, number of users in the package). PONS Langenscheidt must inform the subscriber of this at the latest 45 days prior to the next renewal of the contract in the case of a monthly subscription, and at the latest 6 months prior to the next renewal of the contract in the case of an annual subscription. The above does not apply to a Named-User subscription which the user has concluded by redeeming an access code.
4.7 Term and termination of the subscription contract
4.7.1 The contract duration depends on the respective contract type (e.g. Named-User subscription, test access). Unless otherwise specified in the respective product description, the minimum subscription period is 12 months, but at least until the end of the year in which the contract was concluded. The duration of a contract concluded via this website is displayed before the conclusion of the contract or noted in the corresponding offer in writing or by e-mail.
4.7.2 A consumer’s subscription contract ends after the minimum subscription period has expired, without
that there is a need for termination.
4.7.3 Subscription contracts of business customers may be terminated by both parties in writing at the latest three months before the minimum subscription period expires. If the subscription is not cancelled on time, it automatically renews for a further 12 months.
4.7.4 Both PONS Langenscheidt and the subscriber may terminate the contract at any time for good cause. Important grounds for termination include, but are not limited to, (i) a material breach of the terms of the contract by the other party and failure to remedy the breach within 30 days of receipt of a written warning, or (ii) if the other party ceases its business operations or insolvency proceedings are initiated against it.
4.8 Accessibility of the service, reduction
PONS Langenscheidt aims at an average OWB availability of 98% per calendar year. Accessibility is calculated according to the following formula: Accessibility = (total time - total downtime) / total time * 100%. The following times are not taken into account when calculating the total downtime:
(i) Times of unavailability which are due to disturbances of the Internet which cannot be influenced by PONS Langenscheidt or other circumstances for which PONS Langenscheidt is not responsible, in particular force majeure (e.g. strike, lockout, natural disasters, fire, terrorism);
(ii) Times of unavailability due to scheduled maintenance work on the OWB, which are carried out from time to time between 6.00 a.m. and 8.00 a.m;
(iii) Times due to mandatory unscheduled work necessary to eliminate technical faults (the customer will be informed of this as far as possible by a reference on the OWB website);
(iv) periods of unavailability due to the fact that the necessary technical prerequisites to be created by the customer for access to the OWB are temporarily not met, e.g. due to a malfunction of the customer's hardware.
If accessibility is not achieved during a billing period, the subscription fees for this billing period may be reduced proportionately.
5. Special provisions applicable to digital subscriptions
5.2 Order process, conclusion of contract
5.2.1 The PONS, Langenscheidt and Klett Lerntraining products presented in our online shop, e.g. on the websites www.pons.com, www.langenscheidt.com and www.klett-lerntraining.de, do not yet constitute an offer to conclude a contract, but merely an invitation to the customer to place an order.
5.2.2 As part of the ordering process for the school dictionary app, you first enter the number of class sets you require. You can change the desired number of sets at any time and also specify the start of the subscription period. When you click on "Proceed to checkout", you will first be taken to a page where you can enter your data and then select the payment method.
Finally, an overview page opens where you can check your details once more. You can correct any input errors (e.g. regarding payment method, data or the desired number of items) by clicking on "Edit" or "Remove" in the relevant field. If you wish to cancel the order process completely, you can simply close the browser window.
5.2.3 Otherwise, by clicking on the "Place binding order" you will make a legally binding offer to purchase ("Order") in relation to the specified products. If you have already registered on the PONS or Langenscheidt websites you can log in with your registration data (email address and password). If you have not yet registered, registration is required. After registering you can view your orders in your customer account at any time.
5.2.4 After sending the order you will receive an order confirmation ("Conclusion of contract") by email. After logging into the app, which can be downloaded free of charge from the app stores (Apple, Google), the purchased content is available in the app for you to download for offline use.
5.3 Term and termination of subscription contracts
5.3.1 The term and termination options for subscriptions to our digital products are governed by the relevant product descriptions, which are displayed to the customer when the order is placed and also become part of the contract.
5.3.2 Termination without notice for good cause remains unaffected. Such good cause exists for the supplier in particular if it can be assumed that its services are being used improperly or in breach of the contract.
5.3.3 If there is good cause, the supplier will also have the right to block the user's access authorisation or to restrict the relevant services, in particular to prevent further misuse of the services or their use in breach of the contract.
5.4.1 The supplier endeavours to ensure that its digital products are generally available without interruptions. This is naturally limited to circumstances which the supplier can influence. However, due to the nature of the Internet this cannot always be guaranteed. The supplier may also temporarily interrupt or restrict the accessibility of its website in whole or in part due to service work on the information system, maintenance or capacity concerns. Disruptions to the quality of access to the Internet and data traffic on the Internet due to force majeure and due to events for which the supplier is not responsible and which make its services significantly more difficult or impossible will release the supplier from the obligation to perform for the duration of the disruption, and will not give rise to any claims for damages due to the unavailability.
5.4.2 If the supplier provides services free of charge these may - after prior notice - be discontinued at any time or continued to be offered but for a fee. In this case users will have no rights arising from the discontinuation of the free services, and in particular no claim for damages. As far as possible the supplier will inform users about such changes in good time.
6. Right of revocation
If the customer is a consumer, they have a legal right of revocation. he has a legal right of revocation in Germany and Austria.
The following applies to contracts relating to the supply of physical items (e.g., books, text books, other print media, CD-ROMs):
You have the right to revoke this contract within fourteen days without giving reasons.
The cancellation period is fourteen days from the day on which you or a third party appointed by you, who is not the carrier, took the last goods into your/its possession.
To exercise your right of revocation, you must inform
Stuttgarter Verlagskontor GmbH
by means of a clear declaration (e.g., a letter sent by post, a fax or an e-mail) of your decision to revoke this contract. You can use the enclosed sample revocation form; this is not a requirement, however; you can also choose other unequivocal means to make your statement. If you make use of this option, we will immediately send you (e.g., by e-mail) a confirmation of receipt of such a revocation.
To comply with the terms of the revocation period, it is sufficient to send your notice of revocation before the revocation period expires.
Consequences of revocation
We are entitled to withhold payment of this refund until we have received the goods returned by you or until you have provided evidence that you have returned the goods, whichever event occurs sooner.
You are to return or hand back the goods immediately, and in any case no later than fourteen days from the date on which you notified us of your revocation of this contract, to
Stuttgarter Verlagskontor GmbH, Rotebühlstraße 77, D-70178 Stuttgart, fax: +49 (0)711 988 090 009 11
The notice period will be considered to have been complied with if you dispatch the goods prior to the expiry period of fourteen days.
You are liable for the direct costs of returning the goods.
You will only be liable for any loss in value of the goods if this was caused by handling the goods in a manner other than would be required in order to check their composition, properties or functionality.
End of revocation instruction
Sample revocation form
(Please fill in this form and return it to us if you wish to revoke the contract about the delivery of physical items.)
I/we (*) hereby revoke the contract I/we (*) have concluded regarding the purchase of the following goods (*) / rendering of the following service (*)
Ordered on (*) / received on (*)
(*) Please delete as appropriate
The following applies to contracts regarding the supply of digital content (e.g., digital maps, mobile school apps for entire classrooms) and contracts regarding services (e.g., online services, digital subscriptions):
Right of revocation
The revocation period is fourteen days starting from the date of the conclusion of the contract.
To exercise your right of revocation, you must inform
PONS Langenscheidt GmbH, Stöckachstraße 11, D-70190 Stuttgart, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To comply with the terms of the revocation period, it is sufficient to send your notice of exercising your right of revocation before the revocation period expires.
Consequences of revocation
End of revocation instruction
Contracts covering services require the customer’s consent that the service is to begin before the revocation period expires. Contracts covering the supply of virtual digital content (e-books, e-papers, software download) require consent that the contract is to be executed before the revocation period expires. In both cases customers may lose their right of revocation before the revocation period expires if the provider begins to execute the contract (by activating their access and/or providing the download); in the case of services, however, this only applies if the service has been fully rendered. Customers have confirmed their understanding of the fact that their consent may mean that they lose their right of revocation before the revocation period expires.
Sample revocation form
(Please fill in this form and return it to us if you wish to revoke the contract covering the supply of digital content.)
– Recipient: PONS Langenscheidt GmbH
- Ordered on (*) / received on (*)
- Name(s) of consumer(s)
- Address(es) of consumer(s)
- Signature of consumer(s) (only with paper communication)
(*) Please delete as appropriate
6.3.1. The right of revocation does not apply to distance selling contracts:
6.3.2. for the supply of goods which are not prefabricated and that are produced based largely on a personalised selection or specification by the consumer, or which are uniquely tailored to the personal requirements of the consumer;
6.3.3. for the supply of sound or video recordings or of computer software in sealed packaging if the seal has been removed after delivery.
6.3.4. for the supply of magazines, newspapers or periodicals, with the exception of subscription contracts.
7. Obligation to cover costs in the event of revocation
In the event of revocation the customer bears the direct costs of returning the goods.
In the event of revocation, the customer bears the direct costs of returning the goods.
8. Conditions of delivery
Delivery throughout Germany is made at the latest within 3 to 10 working days from receipt of order or (in the event of advance payment) after a payment order is issued to the transferring bank. Delivery to so-called “Packstationen” (parcel deposit locations for consignee pickup) is not possible. The conditions listed in Clauses 9.3/9.4 apply to international deliveries.
Delivery will be made to the delivery address specified by the customer.
The distribution centres referred to in Clause 1.6 decide how the goods are delivered. They are entitled to partial deliveries and partial invoices if the ordered titles are temporarily unavailable and/or not yet published and where this is acceptable for the user.
9. Prices; terms of payment
The applicable prices are those in effect at the time of the order. All prices are subject to confirmation.
For consumers in Germany or Austria orders are subject to the consumer prices shown in the online shop. which include the applicable rate of VAT.
If customers ordering from an EU country present a VAT ID, goods are supplied at the applicable net final price, i.e. the gross final price less the applicable German value-added tax.
If customers, regardless of whether they are consumers or business entities, place an order from non-EU countries, the specified prices are net prices, i.e. without the applicable German value-added tax. Customers from non-EU countries are responsible for all the nationally applicable taxes and other local fees (such as customs duties) arising in connection with their purchase of the ordered goods. In deviation from this provision, the applicable rate of Swiss VAT is indicated on the invoices for the supply of physical goods ordered by consumers in Switzerland.
The invoice issued to consumers from EU countries for electronic services (online products) indicates the value-added tax applicable in the country where the service is provided.
The following payment terms apply:
9.6.1. Customers can pay on account, by credit card (VISA, Master Card), PayPal or by direct debit. In individual cases, however, Stuttgarter Verlagskontor GmbH reserves the right to request payment in advance. This applies, for example, if the customer is in arrears with prior invoices or if the order value of all invoices still outstanding on the part of the customer exceeds €150.
9.6.2. Invoices are only issued in euros.
9.6.3. The applicable payment terms are indicated on the invoice. In rare cases where the invoice does not provide this information, the following applies: invoice amounts are payable without deduction within 30 days after the customer has received the invoice. Payment is to be made by bank transfer to one of the bank accounts of the distribution centre that issues the invoice.
9.6.4. In the event of late payment the distribution centre will be entitled to demand default interest. The customer’s obligation to pay default interest does not exclude the right of the supplier to assert further damage caused by the default.
10. Shipping costs
Orders with an order value of € 9.95 or more are delivered free of shipping costs within the Federal Republic of Germany. For orders with an order value of less than € 9.95, we charge a flat shipping rate of € 2.50 for postage and packaging, applicable to online orders for delivery within the Federal Republic of Germany. Contrary to Sentence 1 in this section, we charge a flat shipping rate of €4.45 for orders not placed via our online shop (i.e., orders by fax, phone or post).
Partial deliveries of temporarily unavailable items are delivered free of shipping costs.
Orders are packaged and shipped by means that are—at our discretion—the most economical, unless there are limitations imposed by the carrier.
10.4. Shipping costs outside Germany
For deliveries outside Germany, shipping costs will be charged according to the table below.
Country of destination
Shipping (incl. VAT)
Up to EUR 20.-
From EUR 20.-
Up to CHF 50.-
From CHF 50.-
All other European countries
Up to EUR 100.-
All other European countries
From EUR 100.-
Up to EUR 100.-
From EUR 100.-
11. Special Conditions for Teachers and Trainee Teachers
Products identified in our online shop by the icon orand for approval with the right of return within three months. The test price discount is not available for teachers/trainees in Austria.
12. Conditions of Use for Digital Online or Offline Products, Online Services and Software
Our website offers digital products such as learning portals, downloads, additional content for certain titles, exercise sheets, instruction videos and other displayed content. Our “Conditions of Use for Digital Products and Online Services” apply to these digital products in addition to the provisions of these T&C. The provisions named in Clause 6.3 apply to the right of revocation.
The use of digital offline products and software is subject to the product descriptions shown to the customer when the order is placed. Our “Conditions of Use for Digital Products and Online Services” apply in addition to the provisions of these T&C. The provisions named in Clauses 6.3 and 6.3.4 apply to the right of revocation.
13. Setoff; exercise of a right of retention
The customer is entitled to set off counter-claims only if they are judicially confirmed or uncontested, or have been recognised by us in writing. The customer may exercise a right of retention only if the claims result from the same contractual relationship.
14. Retention of title
The supplied goods remain our property until they have been paid for in full. If the customer is a business, we reserve the right of ownership of the goods we have supplied until all demands from the entire business relationship have been fully met. Ownership of the goods is not transferred to the customer until the purchase price has been paid in full.
In general, in the event of material defects and defects of title the applicable legal regulations will apply, in particular §§ 434 et seq. BGB (German Civil Code). The purchaser’s claims for defects lapse within two years after delivery of the goods. Contrary to this, if the customer is a business entity the limitation period is twelve months.
16.1. Irrespective of any legal basis for a claim, our liability is subject to the following exclusions and limitations.
We assume liability if we are guilty of intent or gross negligence. In cases of ordinary negligence we assume liability only if an obligation has been violated that must be fulfilled to enable proper execution of the contract and in the fullfilment of which the contractual partnermay normally trust (a so-called "material contractual obligation"). Otherwise, liability for claims for damages of any kind, regardless of the basis for the claim, including liability for fault on the conclusion of the contract, is excluded.
If we assume liability for ordinary negligence according to Clause 16.2, our liability is limited to such losses as can be typically expected to arise from the circumstances known to us on the conclusion of the contract.
The above exclusions and limitations of liability do not apply (i) if we have assumed a guarantee for the composition of the goods; (ii) to damage to life, limb or health; or (iii) to statutory rights.
The stipulations of the German Product Liability Act remain unaffected.
17. Dispute Resolution for Consumers
We always strive to maintain a good understanding with our customers. If there are any issues, our customers can contact our customer service at any time. Our customer service is available at email@example.com. There is no obligation to contact our customer service; your rights remain unaffected without limitations.
The European Commission has set up a platform for online dispute resolution. It is available on www.ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr. Consumers can use this platform for resolving disputes. Our e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
We do not participate in dispute resolution proceedings before a consumer arbitration board. There is no obligation to participate in dispute resolution proceedings in front of a consumer arbitration board.
18. Concluding provisions
The law of the Federal Republic of Germany applies. The UN law on international contracts for the sale of goods (CISG) is excluded. If the customer is a consumer and his or her main residence is in an EU country other than Germany and he or she has no place of residence in the Federal Republic of Germany, the mandatory consumer protection rules of the EU country of main residence still apply.
If the customer is a business, a legal entity under public law or a special fund under public law the place of jurisdiction will be Stuttgart, Germany, or, at the discretion of PONS Langenscheidt, the customer’s place of jurisdiction.
If individual provisions of these T&C are fully or partially invalid or ineffective, the validity of the remaining provisions will remain unaffected. The applicable statutory regulation will replace the ineffective provision. The parties undertake to agree on whatever provision comes closest to the business purpose of the ineffective provision.