Irish consumers ‘unaware’ of risk to their rights after Brexit – survey

Most consumers unaware of taxes and duties which may hit goods from UK in January

If taxes and duties are imposed, 63 per cent of consumers said they would either stop shopping online or shop less with UK retailers

If taxes and duties are imposed, 63 per cent of consumers said they would either stop shopping online or shop less with UK retailers

 

The vast majority of Irish consumers are unaware of the potential changes to their consumer rights post-Brexit and that additional taxes and duties may be applied to purchases when shopping online with UK retailers after December 31st.

That’s according to a survey by consultancy group Accenture. Purchases from EU-based websites come with various consumer rights, including the right to return goods for up to 14 days and various dispute-resolution mechanisms, but these may no longer apply to online retailers in the UK.

VAT and customs charges may also apply on the delivery of goods to the Republic from the UK after December 31st.

Accenture’s survey found that four out of five (79 per cent) consumers here were either somewhat aware, or not aware at all, of the likely impact of Brexit on their rights as consumers.

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When these changes to consumer rights became clear, 63 per cent of consumers said they would either stop shopping online or shop less with UK retailers. Meanwhile, half said they would prefer to shop more with Irish retailers or brands, and 37 per cent will shop more with EU retailers and brands.

The survey of more than 1,000 consumers here also examined what they thought would be the biggest impacts of Brexit, with 40 per cent saying they believe the availability of food and groceries will be hit hard.

Thirty percent say the quality of food and groceries will be impacted, while even more (44 per cent) believe Brexit will impact the range of food and groceries available to buy in Ireland and more than half believe the price of food and groceries will be impacted.

“While the lack of awareness of the impact of Brexit on the Irish shopper is concerning, there is an opportunity for Irish retailers and brands to step up and capture more share of wallet,” Ross MacMathuna, retail and consumer goods lead at Accenture, said. “We know that the pandemic has pushed shoppers online and we believe this trend will continue. What we have also seen is consumers wanting to shop locally and nationally.

“However, it will be key for retailers to look at their full e-commerce offering, including fulfilment, and use consumer insights to ensure they are delivering the best consumer experience possible,” he said.