The Sunday Post (Newcastle)
Surprise charges hit online shoppers
The add-on costs when buying goods from EU-based retailers should be made clearer so that shoppers are not hit with surprise fees or scammed, according to a consumer watchdog.
Two-fifths of people who ordered products online between the end of the Brexit transition period on January 1 and mid-February experienced some issues, a survey by consumer group Which? found.
Delays were the most common issue experienced by those who ordered products online, but one in 10 people were asked to pay additional handling or delivery fees. The average charge was £41 but some people paid up to £300.
Some shoppers also experienced difficulties when returning items to the EU.
Nine in 10 people who returned items between January 1 and February 16 experienced issues such as delays, unexpected paperwork or extra charges.
Which? said import charges and confusing returns policies had made shopping with EU retailers after Brexit much more difficult than it used to be.
“Businesses must be up front about any extra charges so that consumers can continue to shop across the border without any unnecessary complications,” added a spokesman.