The European Single Market gives consumers access to a wide range of products and services at competitive prices while European consumer rights legislation ensures protection for consumers when buying goods and services across Europe.
Under the governing EU legislation, consumer goods must be:
- As described by the seller and possess the qualities of the product which the seller has held out to the consumer as a sample or model.
- Fit for the purpose for which goods of the same type are normally used. The goods should also be fit for any particular purpose for which the consumer requires them and which was made known to the seller at the time of conclusion to the contract, and accepted by the seller.
- Of merchantable quality, in terms of the quality and performance reasonably expected
All businesses should act in good faith, not make misleading statement or claims about their product and not exercise undue influence that would entice a consumer to make a purchase. Learn more about products conformity here.
EU consumers are given equal rights to access a trader’s goods or services, under the same terms, irrespective of their location. Discrimination, also known as geo-blocking, happens when sellers/providers restrict cross-border sales based on a consumer’s nationality or residence. Learn more about geo-blocking here.
Any company advertising, selling products or supplying services in the EU must provide information to consumers that is accurate and detailed enough to allow you to make an informed choice. This includes information about:
- the seller’s identity, address and contact details
- product characteristics of all products for sale
- itemised price or inclusive price displaying all taxes and charges
- payment terms and methods
- delivery conditions
- how to withdraw from a sale contract/ cancel and order
Terms in consumer contracts must be fair and written in plain and clear language. Any unclear points or and unfair terms are not legally binding. Consumer rights set in EU law protect all residents of the European Union against:
EU countries must also ensure that consumers, buyers of services and service recipients, are provided with complete and transparent information on the services they intend to buy, as well as information on their consumer rights if they make purchases in other EU Member States. Learn more about the rights of service recipients here.