Coronavirus: your rights as consumers

Impossible purchase on a foreign site, delayed delivery, damaged package or right of withdrawal not respected: even in this period of Coronavirus epidemic in Europe, you have rights. 

Update: April 2020

Still in France, you want to continue online shopping from your home country? Can you continue cross-border shopping?

Since December 3, 2018, you can buy goods and services online from a trader based in another EU Member state, under the same conditions (same price and delivery conditions) as customers domiciled in this country. In addition, you cannot be automatically redirected to a national version of the site without your consent.

But according to this EU regulation 2018/302 the trader is not obliged to deliver to you in France if he does not usually deliver in this country.

In addition, the websites can always have different interfaces per country with different prices. But you cannot be automatically redirected to a national version of the site without your consent.

Find more information on the end of geoblocking in Europe 

Please note: Living in a French border region, you are not allowed to cross the border anymore for your shopping for example. You may only do so for work purposes if it remote working is impossible and you are in possession of the necessary documentation.

Still in France, online shopping from a French trader: this is what you need to know.

  • Delayed delivery:

Difficulties in delivery due to the measures taken to combat Coronavirus in Europe constitute an exceptional situation for sellers, a case of "force majeure" which could justify longer delivery times.

If the deadline is exceeded, contact your seller in writing to set a new reasonable deadline. Keep a copy. If delivery is still pending, you can request a cancellation of your order.

If the delivery date was an essential condition for you (purchase for a wedding, an anniversary ...) and you had informed the seller in writing of your need for delivery on a specific date, you can, in the event of non-delivery on the agreed date, immediately request the termination of the contract by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt.

During this period of confinement, you can use registered electronic letters with acknowledgment of receipt.

  • Damaged parcel:

During this period of confinement, as you normally have no contact with the delivery person, you cannot open the package in front of him and affix your remarks on the delivery slip.

Our advices :

  • take photos of the damaged packaging and contents
  • Then contact your seller and the carrier in writing within 3 days (or 10 days if the carrier does not justify giving you time to check the condition of the package), preferably by registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt + e-mail.
  • Request the removal of the damaged product and the return of compliant goods.

The seller is fully responsible for the loss or damage of the package during transport (unless you have chosen a different carrier than the one offered). He must organize a new delivery at his expense or reimburse you. He can then turn against the carrier.

  • Defective product:

Even during a Coronavirus epidemic, you have a legal guarantee of conformity from a European directive for any purchase of new or second-hand goods in an EU country. This guarantee is minimum 2 years from the delivery of the goods.

Read more information on guarantees and warranties in Europe 

  • Right to return

Even in this period of Covid 19, regardless of the EU country in which your seller is based, if the order does not suit you, you have a right of withdrawal of 14 days from its delivery.

Tips:

  • Contact your seller in writing to inform him of your request for withdrawal and keep a copy.
  • You then have 14 days to return your order. During this confinement period, these deadlines can be extended, check the return deadlines with your seller.
  • If the return via relay points is difficult in the current context, check with your seller if it provides for "contactless" home collection.
  • Your seller may defer the reimbursement of your order on the day of receipt of the product or proof of its dispatch.
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