Hayes calls for new EU law to protect online shoppers
44% of online purchased goods delivered late, 19% damaged or different, 15% not delivered
Addressing the 50th annual conference of the Consumer Association of Ireland (CAI) today (Friday) Brian Hayes MEP called for new laws to protect online shoppers. The MEP for Dublin called for the proposed new Directive on the distance sales of goods to be fast-tracked and to strengthen consumer enforcement.
“75% of Irish consumers are shopping on line, well above the EU average of 64%. 44% of online shoppers in Ireland said their product was delivered late, 19% said what they received was damaged or different to what they ordered, while 15% said their goods were not delivered at all. We cannot allow the online rip-off to continue.
“The EU Commission must fast-track the proposed new directives on distance selling to eliminate gaps in protection and legal uncertainties. Any new law must result in more protection, not water down long-standing consumer rights. The EU has come to rest on its laurels in the area of consumer protection.
“It’s true that many basic consumer rights come from EU law. I believe we have become far too proud of our basic consumer rights and standards. It’s simply not good enough to judge ourselves against developing economies and say we are the best in the world. We must push on and expand consumer rights at the same pace as consumers, who are choosing new marketplaces and shopping in the digital world.
“A new directive on distance selling must be matched with enforcement. National consumer bodies must be given the powers and resources to support consumer to exert their rights.
“I support the Commission’s better regulation agenda which makes sure that EU laws deliver their intended benefits for citizens, businesses and society while removing red tape and lowering costs. But we must not confuse consumer rights with red-tape.
“Removing needless regulations cannot come at the expense of consumer rights. We need new regulations to keep pace with the online marketplace” concluded MEP Hayes.