The new EU Consumer Rights Directive

Wednesday, 18. June 2014

Last Friday the new EU Consumer Rights Directive went into force within the EU. The directive focuses on distance sales and on-line purchases and harmonizes consumer rights throughout Europe, so that consumers can be sure their rights are the same when shopping on-line, no matter where, within the EU, the trader is from.

Amongst other things consumers now have a 14 day period to change their minds and return products bought on-line (previously the minimum was seven days and this varied a bit between countries). Also there are now clearer rules about the return of goods in such cases, time limits are set, and also it is made clear the refund from the trader should take place within 14 days and include the cost of delivery.

Furthermore “pre-ticked boxes” on websites are now banned, for instance companies are banned from pre-ticking boxes, for example for the purchase of travel insurance while buying a plane ticket, that lead to extra cost for consumers.

Hopefully this will lead to more confident consumers, but as it stands only a small portion of consumers buys on-line from another EU country (15% over a recent period of twelve months) and only 36% of consumers feel confident doing so.

See more about the new rules in KEY FACT SHEET (pdf) and THE PRESS RELEASE FROM THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION (doc) here below:

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