Buying Goods and Services
I bought a camera in Spain. It doesn’t work. What should I do?
Under the Sale of Goods and Associated Guarantees Directive 99/44/EC, the goods must be as described by the seller, fit for usual purpose, and of satisfactory quality and performance. Hopefully you still have the receipt with the trader’s details. You should first contact the trader outlining your problem, and seeking to have the camera repaired. If this is not done, you should seek a refund or a replacement. If you cannot get a satisfactory response from the trader, you can contact your local European Consumer Centre. You should be aware that there have been many reports of poor-quality electronics being sold in Spanish holiday resorts.
I bought a kitchen at a trade fair. Only part of it has arrived. What should I do?
Check the terms and conditions of the contract that you signed – particularly those in relation to delivery. If the delivery period as set out in the contract has elapsed, you should contact the seller in writing and outline your complaint. If the trader is based in Ireland and you wish to make a complaint, you should contact the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission. If the trader is based in another European country, contact your local European Consumer Centre. For general information on buying goods at trade fairs see the Directive on Contracts Signed away from Business Premises.
What should I be aware of before I buy a car from another European country?
You should be aware that consumer legislation does not apply to private sales so you should exercise extreme caution if buying privately. Before you make your purchase read our advice on car purchase and check the taxes payable.
What are my rights if I buy a second-hand car from a car dealer in another European country and there is a fault?
This will depend on what the dealer told you about the car when you bought it, and what the fault is. According to Directive 1999/44/EC the quality and performance of goods sold must be satisfactory, given the nature of the goods and taking into account the public statements made about them by the seller, the producer or his representative. e.g. if there is a major fault with the car which you were unaware of at the time of purchase, you may well be entitled to a remedy. If you are, you should contact the seller FIRST to check that he/she agrees that you can bring the car to a local garage for repair. This is generally not a problem for new cars but can be for second hand cars.
What are my rights if I buy a second-hand car from a person who isn’t a car dealer and there is a fault?
Your rights in this case are extremely limited indeed. Consumer law will not apply to a private sale; it only applies when a ‘business’ sells to a ‘consumer’ which is why you should exercise extreme care if you buy privately. If you cannot resolve the matter privately, you might consider a civil action against the seller, but this can prove costly and difficult.