I have ordered a few presents from a Belgian website. Can I return them if I’m not happy with them when they arrive?
Online purchases within the EU 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 incurred in returning the goods.
The 14-day cooling-off period begins on the day that you receive the goods.
Upon cancellation, the distance seller is obliged to repay you within 14 days, including delivery costs. 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 have to pay for the cost of returning them, unless the seller did not inform you before you ordered the goods that you would have to bear the cost.
The seller should have provided you with 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.
Cancellation may not be accepted in certain cases, for example, if the goods were made especially for you.
Further information is available from the European Consumer Centre and the Citizens Information Centre below.
Know Your Rights has been compiled by Boyle Citizens Information Centre which provides a free and confidential service to the public. Tel: 0761 07 6330
Address: Elphin Street, Boyle, Co. Roscommon
Information is also available online at citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service - 0761 07 4000