Dublin, 10th December 2018 – The European Consumer Centre (ECC) Ireland is advising consumers planning a Christmas shopping trip to Northern Ireland to be prepared by knowing the trader’s refund policy, the logistics of returning an item, and being aware of private car park restrictions and charges.

According to an ECC Ireland survey, 38% of respondents said they had travelled cross-border for the purposes of shopping in the previous 12 months, and of these more than 55% went to Northern Ireland. The reasons given for the shopping trip included: It’s cheaper (44.94%), for the shopping experience (39.45%), and Christmas shopping (12.84%). Unfortunately, some consumers did experience problems with their purchases, particularly in relation to returns or exchanges.

Press and Communications Manager for ECC Ireland, Martina Nee, explained: ‘It’s easy to get caught up in all the festive fun of a Christmas shopping trip but it’s so important for consumers to remember that they need to check a few things and ask questions. When you buy a product in a shop on the high street you should check the trader’s returns policy as you do not have an automatic right to a refund if you simply change your mind. You also need to think about the logistics of returning the item – how long do you have to return it, can you post it back up, and will there be extra costs, particularly if it’s a bulky?

If you’re taking the car then you also need to take steps to avoid being issued with a parking charge notice. In response to numerous complaints received, The Consumer Council of Northern Ireland (CCNI) has issued advice to drivers on avoiding penalties when parking on private land or in a car park operated by a private organisation, such as a retail park.’




Notes to Editor:

Advice about buying goods and services cross-border in the EU can be found on ECC Ireland’s website here.

More information about private car parks and parking charge notices in Northern Ireland can be found on The Consumer Council of Northern Ireland’s website here.

ECC Ireland is part of the European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net), which covers 30 countries (all EU countries plus Norway and Iceland), and offers a free and confidential information and advice service to the public on their rights as consumers, assisting consumers with cross-border disputes. ECC Ireland is co-financed by the European Commission and the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.

For media queries contact: Martina Nee, ECC Ireland press and communications manager, (0)1 8797643/ (085) 8895333, or email ECC Ireland can also be found on Twitter @eccireland.