Your rights if you bought online on or before 28 November 2022
This page explains your consumer rights if you bought something online, by catalogue or over the phone on or before 28 November 2022. These rights apply if you bought online from a trader based in Ireland or the EU.
You have different rights if you:
If you bought online, you have the same rights under consumer law as buying in a shop.
Quality, performance and durability
Under the Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act, 1980 the goods you bought must meet standards of quality, performance and durability.
Goods must be:
- Of satisfactory (merchantable) quality taking into account durability and price
- Fit for the purpose you bought it
- As described, matching any description advertised or other information the seller gave you
When you bought goods online, you entered into a contract called a distance contract. A distance contract covers sales that were done online, over the phone, by mail order, or from a door-to-door salesperson.
With this type of contract, you did not enter into the contract in person and you could not check the products before you bought them. Because of this, you have extra protections under EU law.
Bought online from a UK trader
If you bought online from a UK trader after 1 January 2021, you may not automatically have the same consumer rights. You can read more about buying online from the UK after Brexit.
If your Delayed or non-delivery
You have the following rights around delayed deliveries or non-delivery:
- You must get your goods within 30 days of buying them (unless you agreed to a different timeframe for delivery)
- If the goods are not delivered within the time agreed, you can ask the seller to deliver the items again by an agreed date
- If the seller does not deliver within this additional period, you can cancel the contract and get a full refund without delay
- If, at the time of buying the goods, you told the seller that delivery by a certain date was essential (for example, for an event) and the seller agreed, you can cancel the contract and get a refund if they don’t meet the promised delivery date
- You can cancel the contract and get a refund if the seller has stated that they cannot or will not deliver the goods
The Consumer Rights Directive 2011/83/EU (CRD) sets out the rules on delayed and non-deliveries.
You have a right to certain remedies when something you buy is not of merchantable quality, fit for purchase or as described. A remedy can be a repair, replacement or refund.
If the fault appears within the first 6 months, it is assumed that there was a problem when you got the goods and it is up to the seller to prove otherwise. If the fault appears after the first 6 months, you can be asked to prove that there was a problem when you got it.
Other consumer rights when shopping online
You have the following extra rights under EU law when shopping online:
- Right to equal access to websites throughout the EU
- Protection against certain practices that are banned within the EU
Equal access to websites throughout the EU
Under rules on geo-blocking, you have the right to equal access to the digital market throughout the EU regardless of where you are living.
The Geo-blocking Regulation (EU Regulation 2018/302) (pdf) has applied across the EU since December 2018 and aims to stop the practices of geo-blocking and geo-discrimination.
As a result of the Geo-blocking Regulation, businesses within the EU are not allowed to:
- Restrict your access to a website that was intended for consumers within a particular geographic area
- Force you to buy from a particular website intended for that country or group of countries alone
- Limit you to a particular website, even if you consent to being redirected to that website
- Automatically redirect you to another website set up for that location
- Treat payment methods differently based on your location
‘Geo-discrimination’ can also happen off-line. For example, if you are physically present in a trader’s premises and you are prevented from buying a product or offered different conditions, such as higher price, because of your nationality or place of residence.
The European Commission has more information about geo-blocking.
Other banned practices under CRD
The CRD bans a number of practices across the EU, including:
|Ban on pre-ticked boxes||EU traders are banned from using pre-ticked boxes on websites to charge extra for services (such as priority boarding on planes)|
|Ban on surcharges||Traders are not allowed to charge more for particular payment types, for example credit card payments, than it costs them to provide such payment option|
|Ban on hidden fees and charges||You do not have to pay for any delivery costs or other charges which you were not told about in advance|
|Passing of risk||The trader is responsible for any damage to or loss of your goods from the time they are dispatched until you (or a third-party chosen by you) receive them|
If things go wrong
Shopping online is convenient, but it can be harder to sort out problems. If things go wrong, contact the seller (in writing if possible) explaining what the issue is and how you want it corrected.
If you are not satisfied with the seller’s response
If the problem is not resolved within a reasonable timeframe or you are not happy with the seller’s response, you can:
Contact the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) for information and advice
Contact your bank or credit card provider to use chargeback. The CCPC has more information on chargeback
Take a claim against the seller using the Small Claims Procedure