Are you buying things online?
-Here are some things you need to know
In a nutshell
You can return goods and claim a refund
If you are not satisfied with something you buy online, you can return it and have your money refunded. This also applies to items bought on sales and special offers. You have 14 days in which to tell the seller that you want to return the item. It is best to do this in writing, for example by e-mail. Normally, sellers are not obliged to accept returns and refund the purchase price if there is nothing wrong with the goods, but this is done in the case of online purchases because you, the purchaser, were not able to see the item with your own eyes and try it out or try it on before buying it.
You must pack the item securely and return it quickly, and normally you will have to pay the postage yourself. The seller will be obliged to refund you the price you paid for the item and its postage to you. You are not obliged to accept a credit note instead of a refund.
The seller should inform you of your right to return items you buy; if this is not done, then the period you have for returning purchases is extended to a full year.
However, your right to return items that are not faulty or damaged does not apply to all purchases. For example, it does not cover airline tickets, package holidays, food, car hire, special orders and products on which the seal has been broken. Nor does it apply to items that are worth less than ISK 7,045.
The seller is obliged to provide information
Sellers are obliged to provide all important information, including about the properties of the item, the total cost, your right to return the item and claim a refund, the period in which you can do this and where and how you can register a complaint. Sellers must also state their company name, e-mail, telephone and physical address.
When you buy items from abroad, considerable extra charges may be added to the item price: postage, administrative charges and VAT. Some sellers add these charges on at the time of the purchase; others do not. You can see what charges are added to items from abroad in Iceland on the websites of Íslandspóstur (posturinn.is) and the tax office (skattur.is).
Online fraud (scams)
It is not always easy to see when websites are fraudulent and have been set up to trick you into paying money or revealing sensitive information. Nevertheless there are some points you should examine closely before you make any payments. The seller’s name, address, contact information and the terms of purchase should be stated clearly. If the seller asks you to send money directly to an account instead of using a recognised payment method (e.g., by credit card or through PayPal) then you should be suspicious. On the website scamadvisor.com you can see whether individual online shops can be trusted.
Online shops abroad
The same laws apply to shopping online throughout the European Economic Area (EEA). This means that your rights will be the same whether you buy through an Icelandic website or one based elsewhere in the EEA. If you have a dispute with a seller in the EEA, you can apply for help from the European Consumer Centre (ecc.is).
And if the seller refuses?
If you run into difficulties in connection with buying items online, you can apply to the Icelandic Consumers’ Association (Neytendasamtökin), but your first move is always to complain directly to the seller.