Bought your Christmas present online and having problems with it? – Well you have rights!
As Irish consumers spend 6bn on online sales, Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune reminds them that there are strong EU laws in place to protect consumers who are buying online.
Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune has said it is important to remind people that they are protected under EU law if anything goes wrong with online purchases they may have made when buying Christmas presents.
“EU laws are there to protect consumers when you buy online. The Consumer Rights Directive covers you when you buy from businesses based in the EU, so it is important that people check the address of any business that they are buying from.
“You should receive the goods no later than 30 days from the date of purchase unless an alternative date has been agreed between you and the business. When you buy online, you are given a cooling-off period of 14 days. This means you have the right to cancel an order or contract for any reason within this specified period. If you buy a product online, the cooling off period ends 14 days after you receive it.
In the case of a contract for a service, the cooling-off period ends 14 days after you conclude the contract, for example, when you agree to the contract or give your credit card details. “If you buy something through distance selling (online, over the phone, from a mail order catalogue or a TV shopping channel) and it turns out to be faulty then your consumer rights are the same as if you bought it in a shop.
“If what you bought is damaged or faulty you should complain to the online business in writing immediately, by email, fax or letter, and ask for a refund or replacement. If you bought something from an EU-based website and you have to return the item because it is faulty, the seller has to pay for any return shipping costs.
“If you return a faulty item, and your refund is not provided within 14 days and you paid for the goods using a credit or debit card, your card provider may agree to reverse the transaction. This is called a chargeback.
“Irish consumers are now spending more than six billion euro online every year. This figure is growing, and it’s growing fast. People should know that they have rights if things go wrong.