Too ambitious with the size of that pair of jeans I bought online? My rights as an EU consumer mean I can return any product I bought online, by phone or by mail order within 14 days. As long as the product is in perfect condition and can be resold, I’ll receive a full refund or an exchange. No arguments, no questions asked, and no explanations needed. So send the jeans back and find the pair that fits perfectly.
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MY SHOPPING. MY LIFE.
Return items bought online within 14 days, and other rights as a consumer
Spotted a great offer for a new bike but worried that there’s a catch? Companies that work within any EU country are banned from misrepresenting their products or services in misleading adverts. So if what I receive isn’t what I was expecting, then I can use my rights to either get what was promised, or my money back.
Signing the papers for a loan or credit card agreement can be a daunting experience, especially with the thought that somewhere in the huge document there may be a clause that costs me half my income. Well, not in the EU. All contracts must be clear, understandable, and with no unfair conditions or requirements. So if I find a nasty surprise when reading it, I’m entitled to make sure that all the terms are reasonable and sound before I sign.
There’s a sight we all dread; the blinking red light that tells me my new washing machine has broken down. All goods purchased in the EU include a guarantee of minimum 2 years so if a product I’ve bought isn’t working as it should, I can get it repaired or replaced for free. So forget the laundrette, my washing machine should be back up and running in no time.
No one wants to give their friend the birthday blues, but sometimes ordering their gift online can mean that the big day comes and goes with no sign of their present in the post. They may be empty-handed, but all is not lost. EU law means that if I don’t receive the goods within 30 days of purchase then I can notify the trader and give them an extra week to deliver. If I’m still item-less after the extension, I can cancel my order and demand a full refund. Of course, if my order was for a specific event – like a birthday – then I don’t need to offer the extra week and I can cancel my order after the 30-day period.
Trouble with a trader in another EU country? Perhaps my new bag is a counterfeit or my sunglasses were scratched when they arrived? The EU offers free advice and support via the European Consumer Centres in each country. If I can’t reach a solution with the trader, I can ask for help via the Online Dispute Resolution platform. Through this system, I can get a fair outcome to my dispute, either for free or for a small fee. It also means that traders can avoid costly litigation procedures, building and improving their customer relations.
How it works
As an EU consumer I’m entitled to be treated fairly – from getting my items fixed or replaced should they break within two years, to the ability to change my mind about my online purchase within 14 days or sign a clear, understandable contract for a new service. EU rules aim to make shopping – whether online, by phone, mail order or on the high street – clear, simple and fair.
Did you know
The percentage of internet users aged between 16 and 24 who shop online.
The increase in the number of online purchases by internet users between 2007 and 2017.
The number of cross-border complaints received by European Consumer Centres in 2013, 66% of which were related to goods purchased on the internet.
Shops and traders in the EU are not allowed to apply any surcharges to my purchases for using my credit or debit card.
Solving the squabble
Not seeing eye-to-eye with an online merchant? For free advice and support, I can turn to my European Consumer Centre. Read more
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How does the EU help you do what you love?
Ever dream of starting a business, studying abroad, or volunteering to help communities in need? And did you know the EU can support you in achieving all of these things? Discover everything the EU gives you to unlock your potential.