Pricewatch: Irish retailer refusing to refund postage fee for returned item

Under EU law, consumers are entitled to a full refund which includes the cost of delivery

Billy Kennedy wrote in because he was struggling to get his money back for an online purchase he had returned to an Irish retailer. "I recently purchased goods from an Irish website however I made a mistake and ordered the wrong item. I returned this item and was in contact with the supplier regarding a refund. While I received the cost of the items they were in disagreement as to whether they should refund the cost they incurred posting it to me. I contacted the CCPC and they have agreed that I am entitled to this money as it is covered under the 'change on mind' section."

He says the amount of money is small and not worth pursuing through small claims but says he “feels the consumer is being ripped off when they are in their rights to get this money back. I think this right should be highlighted more, perhaps if nothing else it might provided a little bit of a fight back for the high street in the battle against online retailers.”

Cooling-off period

Consumers who shop online have more rights than those who shop in regular shops and under EU consumer law they have a 14-day cooling-off period from the moment they receive goods – apart from airline and concert tickets, hotel books, foods and some other items – the right to a 14-day cooling-off period. That means they can send items back (possibly at their own expense) and get a full refund including the cost of standard delivery.

Any shop who refuses to return the original standard delivery charge is in breach of the law. If this happens you should put a complaint in writing to the trader first. If that fails you can instigate a credit or debit card chargeback. The final step would be the Small Claims Court but the fee for that is about €25 for something that’s €3 it would be pointless.