Tuesday 17 September 2019

Online shoppers could lose rights over Brexit but consumers say they will shop Irish if so

Research published by The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC), found that more than 7 in 10 Irish consumers buy products online from the UK.
Research published by The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC), found that more than 7 in 10 Irish consumers buy products online from the UK.

Mícheál Ó Scannáil

ONLINE shoppers could lose rights if Brexit is finalised, but consumers said that they would shop Irish if that is the case, new research has found.

The research, published today by The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC), found that more than 7 in 10 Irish consumers buy products online from the UK and almost half of them had returned unsatisfactory products to the area.

The research, which was carried out on 1,000 adults, found that 72pc of Irish consumers had bought online from a company based in the UK in the last two years, with 29pc of consumers having done so more than 10 times.

Under EU law, consumers have the right to change their mind on products bought and receive a refund within a certain timeframe. If the UK are to leave the EU, especially without a deal, this right may no longer apply to Irish consumers who buy online from the UK.

It is one of many rights under EU legislation which gives shoppers flexibility when they buy online.

Apart from losing some rights, buying from UK-based vendors could also mean more tax, like customs and excise duty and VAT.

According to the CCPC findings, 40pc of those who had bought from a UK retailer had exercised this right and returned items, something that they may no longer be able to do in the future.

A quarter of those interviewed said that after Brexit they will buy more from Irish companies either in-store or online, with 31pc saying they will shop more on sites from different countries around the EU, where they previously wouldn't have.

With less than two months until 31 October, the CCPC has commenced a six-week public information campaign to make consumers aware of the potential changes ahead and to provide information to help consumers understand their rights.

Speaking today, ahead of the CCPC’s campaign, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD said: “The Government, its agencies and the business community have been working hard to prepare Ireland for the impact of Brexit.

"However, there is still much uncertainty as to what is going to happen come October 31. As consumers, there are steps that we can all take to lessen the potential impact."

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