DG Just (The Commission’s Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers is responsible for EU policy on justice, consumer rights and gender equality) implements the ‘YOU’RE RIGHT’ (#YourEURight) awareness campaign on consumer rights, to empower consumers so that they can make informed purchasing choices.
As technology advances, consumers need even more clear, accurate and consistent information to make fully informed purchasing decisions. As a result, the EU has established specific policies aiming at setting a dynamic consumer rights framework for all member states which ensures transparency and creates trust.
Through harmonised consumer related legislation, the EU facilitates online shopping by enabling consumers to make informed decisions and buy safely according to their needs. The ‘YOU’RE RIGHT’ (#YourEURight) campaign reminds consumers that, thanks to the EU, they have significant rights when buying from any European online store. More specifically, as online shopping does not give consumers the opportunity to inspect a product before purchasing it, as would be possible in an offline environment, thanks to the EU, consumers have the right to return goods, without a specific reason, as long as the goods have not been used. This way they can shop online worry-free, as they have the right to get their money back when they return a purchased item. This excludes consumables such as food, online digital content, or personalised products.
In light of the sales period, during which online shopping increases, Mr. Marios Droushiotis, President of the Cyprus Consumer Association, welcomed the ‘YOU’RE RIGHT’ (#YourEURight) campaign and encouraged consumers to do their research before any purchase, to be informed of their rights and to address the Authorities if they feel that their rights have been breached by the trader. “Online shopping in Cyprus increases year after year and is increasingly high during the sales period. EU consumer rights have been harmonised in all member-states, even for online shopping. It is important for consumers to know their rights, especially during sales period, so they can demand that these are respected. Their rights are indisputable.”
If a consumer decides to return a product, they have purchased online, they have to first notify and inform the trader within 14 days, and then send back the product. Should a trader be unresponsive to the return of the goods or refuses to return money, and the consumer needs to seek redress, the EU has put the following EU-wide systems in place on both a national and cross-border level.
For cases concerning cross-border purchases, consumers can contact the European Consumer Centre to get advice on possible steps to take.
In case of disputes between an online consumer and an online trader in the same member state, as well as cross-border ones, the EU’s Online Dispute Resolution (ODR – https://ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr/main/?event=main.trader.register) portal is a useful tool for consumers trying to identify the appropriate national ADR body that could resolve the dispute. The portal also enables to translate the complaint in case it needs to be sent to another country.
Enhance your role as a consumer by learning your rights through https://europa.eu/youreuright/
It’s your EU right! #yourEUright