As we shop online more and more these days, it's important to know what our consumer rights are. This resourceful article has been reproduced courtesy of Hollywood2Holland.
In a previous blog post not long ago, I talked about a woman in the Netherlands who wanted to return an article of clothing she had purchased and subsequently decided she didn't want it. She was irate because the store would only offer her an exchange, and because she didn't see anything else that interested her, she felt that she was entitled to a refund. I relayed how, in that situation, she was not entitled to a refund based on the laws that are in effect in the EU. It would have been a different story, had the garment been defective in some way. But it wasn't, she simply had changed her mind.
I wanted to return to the subject of consumer rights because I was contacted by the director of the organization I had referred to in that blog, Europees Consumentem Centrum, who has graciously allowed me to link to the ECC Netherlands site for the answers to many questions a consumer may have regarding their rights in the EU. So, no matter where you live, if you are buying a product from a business established in an EU member country, you can find the answers to questions regarding your rights as a consumer with these links.
In this blog post, I'll only focus on issues dealing with "distance shopping" (or buying online), since that really affects almost all of us, whether we live in the EU, US or elsewhere, if we happen to be buying online from a Dutch or European retailer. The following is a list of questions most consumers would ask and the appropriate link to the ECC website to see the answer. I hope this helps any reader who comes into a situation where they need to know the rights they have. And my thanks go out to Patricia de Bont, Director of the Dutch ECC.
- What does your "right to cancel" ("cooling off period") entail?
- For which products do you have no right to cancel?
- Within what period must your order be delivered?
- What is the situation regarding products which are sent to you without having been ordered?
- How do you know whether you can trust a foreign trader?
- Who can you turn to, if you have a question or complaint?
* This article was originally published on Hollywood2Holland and has been reproduced on Amsterdam Mamas with full permission from the owner.