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Updated : 03/11/2014

shopping

Buying services

The EU rules gives you more rights when you purchase services abroad, for example:

  • shopping at a supermarket
  • buying products online
  • getting your hair cut
  • contracting a construction company to build or renovate your house
  • booking your holidays at a travel agency
  • hiring a lawyer.

For these types of services, and others, you have the right to buy from a service provider located in another EU country without

However, if there are objective reasons for the seller to refuse to sell to you, that seller may be within their rights.

You do not necessarily enjoy the same rights with certain services, notably financial and transport services.

Sample story

Insist on obtaining your new rights under EU law

Many companies and individuals offering services in the EU currently discriminate against customers living in a different EU country. Some will probably continue to do so, even with new EU rules in force. 

If an online shop refuses to sell you an item, or a supermarket refuses to give you a loyalty card, or you are charged a higher booking fee for your holiday simply because you live in a different EU country, then your rights are not being respected. 

To get help defending your rights in such a situation, contact your local European consumer centre.

Stay informed

Before offering you their service, traders in the EU are required to give you their contact details and detailed information on:

  • the main features and price of the service
  • the general conditions and clauses they intend to apply
  • the competent authorities or the professional bodies responsible for supervising them.

If you want to buy services from a seller based in a different EU country (such as an architect to design your house, or workmen to renovate it) you can use the contact point in your country [158 KB] to get information on:

  • the rules that apply to the seller
  • the means of redress available in case of a dispute
  • the associations and organisations which can help you.
Help and advice

Footnote

In this case, the 27 EU member states + Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway

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