The plenary of the European Parliament has endorsed the rule that aims to strengthen the rights of consumers who buy over the Internet. The main novelty is that it sets a return period of 14 days for all the EU territory during which the buyer may retract a purchase without having to give reasons for his decision and without any cost. This period of reflection is currently 7 days.
Now the representatives of the Eurochamber will negotiate with the different governments involved to obtain the final version of this new directive. If an agreement is reached, and according to Brussels’ estimates, the final vote to approve the new legislation could be held during the next months of June and July.
Currently, the reflection period during which an online purchase can be canceled varies between seven days, which is the minimum established by current EU regulations and fifteen days depending on the country in question.
The new rule, which aims to improve consumer confidence and boost cross-border purchases over the Internet, sets a maximum limit of 14 days, so that Member States can not foresee any longer term in their legislation.
If the price of the product is higher than 40 euros, the seller must cover the shipping costs. All expenses must be reimbursed to the consumer within 14 days of the return. However, the consumer must prove that he has returned the product. The European Parliament proposes that if the merchant does not inform the consumer properly about the right of return, the period of 14 days should automatically be extended to 12 months.
In addition, the seller will be required to provide the user with complete information about the product (including, for example, its characteristics, address and identity of the seller, price with all additional taxes and shipping cost), so that he can make an informed choice .
The directive also makes clear that, when a consumer has not been informed in advance about all extra costs and additional fees, he will not be obliged to pay them and will have the right to have them returned. In addition, it totally prohibits the pre-selection of a box on a webpage that involves an extra payment: for example, that of voluntary insurance in the case of airline tickets.