A contributor from Saunders 1865’s Expat Community writes:
Recently I made an online purchase. It turned out that the merchant was based in the USA where, in my experience, consumer rights are significantly inferior to the UK’s.
Actually it wasn’t a purchase per se, but a free trial of the product.
The product turned out to be “pants” to use a new-found English term I’ve learned (or learnt as they say over here!); so I returned it within 2 days. (I actually was supposed to have 30 days to try the product before they would charge my credit card with a hefty $99!) Nevertheless, my credit card was still charged.
It was impossible to communicate with the merchant, which was no doubt their intentional strategy!
When I complained to my major credit card company they told me there was nothing they could do because the company was located in the USA. “Right, I’ll sue YOU instead then”, was my retort!
The credit card company immediately refunded my money implying that they were doing so out of goodwill and out of their own pockets. That ended the problem for me, but I don’t think merchants who commit these scams should be allowed to get away with it!
It would seem I’m not alone! From this summer (2014), online shoppers in the EU have the right to clear information prior to placing an order. We are also entitled to freedom from unwarranted surcharges, reliable delivery and the ability to return unwanted items. Plus merchants can only lawfully charge us for the items we expressly ordered.
Click here for more details on these new online shopping rights.
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