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Brush up on your rights

Do we know our stuff when it comes to our consumer rights?

At first glance, it seemed we were pretty clued up, according to a new Eurobarometer report published by the European Commission.

When asked how many consumers felt confident, protected and knowledgeable, the EU average was 44% whereas the Irish scored 64%.

But it seems we got the answers to the questions slightly wrong. Seven per cent of Irish consumers were not able to answer a single question correctly. That result was the third-lowest in Europe. The only countries with worse results were Romania (13%) and Bulgaria (8%).

Ireland was also among the countries with the lowest awareness of EU legislation,beside Italy, Hungary, Portugal, Romania, Bulgaria and Greece.

When faced with an 18-month-old faulty fridge, only 30% of Irish respondents were able to identify their rights, which are that you are entitled to a remedy from the retailer after 18 months, whether you have a manufacturer's guarantee or not.

Only 28% were aware that a vacuum cleaner bought from a door-to-door salesman could be returned within a cooling off period.

At least the Irish did well when it came to interpreting packaging information on nutrition and 'best before' dates, and also in recognising EU logos, performing well above the EU average.

Answer the survey online at: http://bit.ly/EUsurvey

Irish Independent