Plans for Stronger Consumer Rights Launched

Preserving the consumer's right to return goods and an App providing a single source of advice and dispute resolution were at the centre of new EU consumer protection rules unveiled today by West Midlands MEP Daniel Dalton. 

The app would bring together several existing services and enable users in the UK to easily access the help they require.   

Mr Dalton's report, presented today to the European Parliament's Internal Market and Consumer Affairs Committee,  also rejects plans by the European Commission to reduce consumers' rights to return goods.

Ahead of the launch Mr Dalton said: "There are a range of consumer rights information services in existence today but they are fragmented and many people are unaware they exist." 

"The App would identify what assistance users require, whether it is information about their rights, help in securing a refund or the resolution of a long running dispute, and direct them to the correct source.  With more and more people making purchases via apps, it makes sense for them also to be able to turn to one when things go wrong."

On the right to return goods, while acknowledging that a minority of people abuse their right to return purchases by, for instance, first using a product to such a degree that it becomes impossible to re-sell, Mr Dalton believes it would be wrong for the EU to change the rules.

He commented: "People might be reluctant to buy online if they felt it was going to be more difficult to return products, particularly from smaller retailers. That is in no-one's interest, undermining consumer trust and killing confidence in e-commerce."