Did you know that shopping via Internet within the whole European Union (and additionally in Norway and on Island), you can count on at least minimum protection that derives from a respective European Union directive?
Purchasing via Internet becomes more and more common. It is simple and convenient and it delivers a range of goods and services into your home and in your hands. Before making a purchase, it would be useful to find out your rights and what you should know about the trader!
EU online shoppers enjoy a range of rights under EU consumer legislation, including a cooling-off period which gives you the freedom to change your mind after you have made a purchase. These rules don’t just apply to online shopping but also cover other distance purchases, such as those placed by phone or mail order. internet shopping
The right to change your mind
When you shop online you have the right to a “cooling-off” period of 14 working days where you can withdraw from the contract and return your purchases to the seller. You do not have to give any reason but bear in mind you may have to pay for the cost of returning the goods.Please note however that some purchases are not covered by the cooling-off period – for instance, hotel bookings, car rental, travel tickets and other leisure services are specifically excluded from this provision.Other exceptions include:
- Goods which are made to your specifications or which are clearly personalised
- Audio or video recordings or computer software which has been unsealed by the consumer e.g. DVDs, software installation CDs which have the seal removed
- Services that have already begun, with the consumer’s agreement, before the end of the 14-working day period
- Goods which are liable to deteriorate or expire rapidly e.g. perishable goods
- Gaming and lottery services
- Goods or services the price of which is dependent on fluctuations in the financial market which cannot be controlled by the supplier
Where a consumer exercises their right of withdrawal, the trader is obliged to refund them within 14 days. EU online sellers must provide you with detailed information, including their contact details, the main characteristics of the product or service and the total cost of the product, including all taxes and delivery charges.Before the contract is concluded the trader must give you the following specific information in a clear manner.
- The name and address of the supplier
- The main characteristics of the good/service
- The price including taxes and delivery costs and how payment is to be made
- How the goods are to be delivered or how the service will be performed
- That a right to cancel exists
- The minimum duration of the contract
- How long it will be open to you to enter into the contract on these terms
- The cost of the communication between the parties if it is above a basic rate
- How the contract may be cancelled
- Any guarantees and after sales services that are available
- The conditions for terminating the contract if it is of unlimited duration or for longer than one year
Your purchase should be delivered within 30 days unless you agree otherwise with the seller.If the goods are unavailable, the seller must inform you and refund you any monies paid within 30 days. The seller can offer you alternative goods if:
- You have consented to this before the contract is made, and
- You have been informed that the seller cannot charge you postage costs in the event that you want to return these ‘equivalent’ goods if you are not satisfied with them.
Submitting a complaint
When buying something via a communication device, in addition to the right of withdrawal of the purchase within a certain amount of days, the consumer has the right to complain to the trader, if the goods do not meet the contract conditions or are not according to the samples shown, or if they have defects. Thus, if the goods show some defects, the consumer’s rights are the same, regardless if the purchase was made in a common store, Internet-shop or e. g. in public transport and the complaint can be submitted within 2 years from receiving the goods.Ps. In addition to e-commerce, the before mentioned rights and tips also apply to offers and transactions made via mail order catalog, TV-shop, by phone or other communication devices.
Be sure to take a look of the blacklist of e-shops in Estonia.