Latest news...

All the latest news.


consumer warning
Beat the con-men! Stay one step ahead and keep an eye on our consumer warnings...

Rights when buying in the EU


There are laws in place that cover the whole of the EU and will give you protection when you buy services across the EU.  The Directives listed on this page are applicable to all EU Member States. Please contact us if you need further explanation or more detail.


Package Travel 90/314/EEC

The Directive covers pre-arranged holiday packages which combine at least two of the following:

  • Transport
  • Accommodation
  • Other tourist services not ancillary to transport or accommodation and accounting for a significant proportion of the package

Consumers are protected where: (a) at least two of the above elements are sold at an inclusive price and (b) the service covers a period more than 24 hours or includes overnight stay.

Unfair Contract Terms 93/13/EEC

The Unfair Contract Terms Directive (1993/13/EEC)  introduces a notion of "good faith" in order to prevent significant imbalances in the rights and obligations of consumers on the one hand and sellers and suppliers on the other hand. This general requirement is supplemented by a list of examples of terms that may be regarded as unfair. Terms that are found unfair under the Directive are not binding for consumers. The Directive also requires contract terms to be drafted in plain and intelligible language and states that ambiguities will be interpreted in favour of consumers. Member States must make sure that effective means exist under national law to enforce these rights and that such terms are no longer used by businesses.

Timeshare, long-term holiday product, resale and exchange contracts 2008/122/EC

Directive 2008/122/EC replaced the old Timeshare Directive 94/47/EC with clearer and simpler rules. The new legislation applies to contracts concluded after 23rd February 2011. It covers the market changes and new products e.g. holiday clubs, resale and exchange.

Key points of the Directive

  • the right to detailed information before signing the contract;
  • the right to contract cancellation within 14 days for any reason without penalty (a cooling-off period);
  • specific rules on payment protecting consumers: trader or any third party are prohibited from asking consumers for deposits, advance payment, guarantees, reservation of money on accounts, explicit acknowledgement of debt or any other during the cooling-off period;
  • timeshare or a long-term holiday product cannot be marketed or sold as an investment;

Please contact us for more detail.

Visit European Commission website for more information

Buying at a Distance

 European Directive Consumer Rights Directive 2011/83/EU gives consumers across the EU certain  rights when buying services (and goods) at a distance as well as when buying on trader premises and off trader premises.  At a distance could mean by Internet, telephone, fax, or mail order  For example Mrs Hadley, who lives in the UK, books a Wine Tasting tour in France over the Internet.

Sale of Goods and Associated Guarantees 99/44/EC

This Directive is concerned with the legal guarantee and commercial guarantees. Sellers of consumer goods within the EU are obliged to guarantee the conformity of the goods with the contract for a period of two years after the delivery of the goods.

Visit European Commission website for more information

EU Services Directive 2006/123/EC

A key part of the European Services Directive, brought into UK law in December 2009, is about increasing consumers’ confidence to consider businesses from anywhere in the EU.

It achieves this by setting some basic requirements – ensuring consumers have access to a minimum amount of information and to a complaints procedure no matter where in the EU a business is based.  Please also visit 'What can consumers expect?'

For more information visit European Commission website


Funded by BIS

The European Consumer Centre for Services is hosted by the Trading Standards Institute and funded by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.