KILDARE CITIZENS INFORMATION ADVICE: Buying goods online
Know your rights
Leinster Leader reporter
28 Jan 2019
Question: I have ordered a few presents online. Can I return them if I change my mind when I get them?
Answer: If you bought your goods from a business based in the EU, they are covered by the EU Directive on Consumer Rights. Under this directive, you are entitled to a cooling-off period of 14 days. During the cooling-off period, you can cancel distance contracts such as online purchases without giving a reason and without incurring charges or penalties, other than possible charges for returning the goods.
The 14-day cooling-off period begins on the day that you receive the goods. The distance seller must repay you for the goods, including delivery costs, within 14 days of cancellation. If you chose a more expensive type of delivery than the seller’s cheapest standard delivery, you are only entitled to be refunded the cost of the cheaper delivery type.
The seller can withhold the repayment until the goods are returned or until you supply evidence that you have sent the goods back. You must send the goods back within 14 days of informing the seller of the cancellation. You may have to pay for the cost of returning them.
The seller must have informed you of these costs before you completed the purchase. The seller should also have given you confirmation of the contract, as well as information on aftersales and guarantees, how to cancel the contract and a postal address for complaints. If the seller did not provide you with information on your right to cancel, the cooling-off period can be extended by 12 months.
Some purchases are not covered by the cooling-off period. These include customised or perishable goods and bookings for transport or accommodation.
If you bought your goods from a business based outside the EU, they are not covered under the EU Directive, so check the seller’s own terms and conditions.
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