Len Dastard tackles the proposed Consumer Right Directive
Escuche arriba, hermosas personas! It is I, Len Dastard, full time litigation executive and part time pretend lucha libre! You know that by now, of course. You don't? I spit on your mother grave, you worthless hijo de un burro. Get out of my sight.
There is some new legislation which had its first reading in the European Parliament in March which could impact consumers and retailers greatly. It's called the Consumer Rights Directive, and its primary aim is to tackle and amend the following consumer rights acts:
• The sale of consumer goods and guarantees
• Doorstop selling
• Distance Selling; and
• Unfair contract terms
We have looked at the Distance Selling Regulations a few times so the avid reader will be aware of that particular legislation. The ultimate goal of the Consumer Rights Directive is to protect online shoppers and boost consumer confidence in buying in other member states. If this is passed it will apply to transactions made in a shop, on the telephone, online or by mail order.
Some of the standout amendments proposed include:
• Retailers will be forced to cover the return costs for orders with a value of more than €40.
• Consumers are given (across the EU) a 14 day window when buying abroad in which to change their mind (as I am sure you know, the current “cooling off” period is 7 working days)
• Retailers will have a legal responsibility to deliver the goods within 30 days; the Consumer Rights Directive will allow the consumer the cancel the contract if the goods are not delivered within that time.
• All retailers will be required to sell into any EU country.
• Tighter rules on special “offers” advertised on the internet.
• Retailers will be required to give clearer pricing and contact details - they are calling this method “double click” acceptance.
It is clear from some of the above proposals that a massive burden will be placed on retailers. Whether or not these are unfair will be determined once more is known after the Consumer Rights Directive gets its final vote in June.
The one standout burden is the proposal of the retailer covering the return cost of the item (over €40) when the consumer is exercising their right to cancel under the (lets use the current) Distance Selling Regulations. Is it fair that the retailer should be stung for the return costs simply because the consumer has changed their mind? Are we not getting enough protection as it is? It will be interesting to hear your thoughts, as always.
If you have any other questions, problems or you just want to get in touch then email me, Len Dastard at [email protected]