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Online consumer rights at risk
3rd September 2019

By Karen Pickwick

Brexit may have a considerable impact on UK internet shoppers’ consumer rights and on the protection offered to European Union online shoppers buying British goods, an international parcels expert warns.

ParcelHero says UK internet shoppers’ current rights to return almost any item within 14 days, even if they are not faulty, were introduced in 2014 only because the UK Government was forced to match the EU Consumer Rights Directive.

The international parcel price comparison site is also warning that UK shoppers buying from EU-sellers, including Amazon traders, could be similarly impacted to their Continental counterparts.

It points out the Government’s own guide, ‘Buying things from Europe after Brexit’, admits: “If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, you may have to deal with the court system in the country you bought from to get compensation.”

And UK shoppers may be charged more for using credit or debit cards to pay for things in euros when they buy from companies in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway; and concedes payments may also take longer.

“No matter where they live, there really don’t seem to be many upsides for online consumers to a no-deal Brexit,” said ParcelHero’s head of consumer research, David Jinks. “And that in turn means lower sales for Britain’s online retailers, currently the only retail sector looking at all healthy.”