Got a consumer query? KISS is here to help with advice from experts at the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.
This week, we’re looking at online refunds, after a question from stressed shopped Amy…
Amy says: “I bought a dress for my friend’s 18st birthday party last week from an online site. I paid for express delivery but it has been over two weeks and it still hasn’t arrived. I’m told the delays are because of the Coronavirus outbreak. The party has obviously been postponed but I still want the dress for when the party is rescheduled. Am I entitled to a refund if it doesn’t arrive soon?
CCPC advice: Because of the ongoing COVID-19 situation, businesses such as online retailers in affected areas may be finding it difficult to meet agreed delivery times. This means that delays or even non-delivery of your dress is a possibility. When it comes to your right to a refund, this depends on whether the online retailer is based in a European Union (EU) country, or non-EU country.
If you bought your dress from a website within the EU, the good news is you have strong rights. Because you paid for express delivery and your dress hasn’t arrived when they said it would, you now have two options:
- you can contact the retailer to agree a different date that suits you, or
- you can cancel the order and get a refund
If you choose a refund, you can either cancel your order before your dress arrives, or you have up to 14 days after the dress arrives to let the retailer know you would like a refund. After this, you have another 14 days to return the dress to them, so make sure you keep it safe and in good condition, as if you don’t, this could affect the refund amount. It’s important to know that when you are returning something, a business can hold on to your refund until they have proof that you have sent the goods back.
Also, if you choose to return the dress, you may not be refunded for the express delivery charge but it’s important to know that you are entitled to claim back the cost of standard delivery – so make sure you ask!
If you buy from a website based outside the EU, the bad news is that you do not have the same level of protection, so you will need to check the terms and conditions on the retailer’s website to see if you can cancel your order and get a refund. If you can’t get a refund for non-delivery of goods from a business and you have paid by credit or debit card you could try the chargeback option. You should contact your credit or debit card provider – usually your bank – who may agree to reverse the transactions. More information can be found about chargebacks on https://www.ccpc.ie/consumers/shopping/disputed-card-transactions-chargeback/.
If you’ve got a question you need help with our team of experts are here to help. We’ve got psychologist Dr Sarah, for any personal worries you may have, Nurse Shelley, for all your health queries, and the CCPC for any customer questions. Just DM us with your question.