Young man wearing a white T-shirt and checked over-shirt and a straw hat holding a mobile phone in one hand and pointing the index finger of his other hand upwards. He has a shocked expression on his face and his mouth is wide-open.

What is geo-blocking and how does it affect my consumer rights?

Have you been shopping online only to be redirected to another version of the website without your permission? Or, have you been prevented from using a website and denied access due to your location? Geo-blocking is against the law, read on to find out what this means for you.

Good to know

Geo-blocking is the unequal treatment of consumers based on their nationality, place of residence or location. For example:

  • You want to use a foreign website or app and you are denied access due to your location
  • You are redirected to another version of the website or app without your permission
  • You are prevented from purchasing products or services due to your location
  • You are subject to different pricing or terms of sale than consumers from another country
  • A payment method originating in another country is refused

Under specific laws, called Geo-blocking Regulations, all consumers within the EU are treated equally and have the opportunity to shop on websites based in other countries with the same pricing and terms of sale. This means you have the right to access:

  • Websites anywhere within the EU
  • The pricing used in that country
  • The terms of delivery applicable in that country
  • The terms of payment applicable in that country

Businesses can decide the locations to which they will deliver. However, if they don’t deliver to your specific location, they must offer you the option to have your order delivered to another location, to which they do deliver. They must also clearly state the terms of their delivery service on their website and during the order process.