Will UK consumers affected by new EU proposals?
New EU proposals to umbrella shopper rights may be unfair to UK consumers, says the House of Lords EU Committee. Yesterday, they cautioned the Government against accepting the EC's Consumer Rights Directive, in view of the possible impact to British consumers as this was likely to "water down" existing shopper protection guarantees.
The main point of contention is the right to reject faulty products and choose between refund or repair. The Directive's two-year limit of a trader's liability for repair or replacement of faulty products is also troubling, according to Parliament.UK.
The Committee questioned whether durable items like cars, which are expected to last longer than two years, would suffer from declines in quality if manufacturers knew they would only be responsible for problems in the first two years.
Baroness Howarth, Chair of the House of Lords EU Sub-Committee on Social Policy and Consumer Affairs said, "it is vital that consumers throughout the EU do not lose their existing rights." "In the UK, we are keen to protect the right to reject and the trader's existing six-year liability for faulty goods."
But the Committee isn't against the proposal as a whole. In fact, they think it could be very beneficial to both businesses and consumers. Whether it would actually increase cross-border trading? That's a whole other question.