Irish online consumers are faced with shopping restrictions when shopping online, despite EU legislation prohibiting discrimination based on nationality and place of residence.
Some traders use geo-blocking to create artificial barriers to restrict consumers' access to services, according to a report launched today by the The European Consumer Centre (ECC) Ireland, in conjunction with the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland.
The report titled Do Invisible Borders Still Restrict Consumer Access to Services in the EU?, was officially launched at the European Commission Representation for Northern Ireland in Belfast.
More than 82% of cases reported related to consumers’ residence rather than nationality and took place mostly in relation to online transactions.
According to Martina Nee, Press and communications officer, ECC Ireland: “The Services Directive has been an important step in improving the functioning of the Single Market for services. However, complaints received by ECC-Net confirmed that the principle of non-discrimination of Article 20.2 has not been effective in combatting unjustified service differentiation and it has not reduced legal uncertainty. Consumers too often face restrictions with no justification while the reasons invoked by traders are unconvincing and lack objective criteria.”
It also highlights that Ireland had the third highest number of complaints from consumer related issues. Seemingly the bane of Irish shoppers online experience is the problems they encounter due to refusal to deliver or higher prices based on their nationality or place of residence.
“ECC-Net welcomes the European Commission’s acknowledgement that further action is necessary to give effect to the principle of non-discrimination and develop rules against discrimination based on the nationality or place of residence of consumers.” Nee added.
Ireland had the third highest number of complaints received from 66 consumers. The top spot was taken by Austria with 138 complaints, followed by Italy in second place with 68 complaints lodged of a similar nature.
© 2016 - Checkout Magazine by Donna Ahern