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Hungarian website, but foreign complaint handling

Advice of the European Consumer Centre concerning webshops operating in Hungarian language, but located in other countries.

In the recent weeks more and more complaints have been lodged at the European Consumer Centre Hungary (ECC) in relation to online shopping. According to our experiences an increasing number of complaints concern especially those webshops that operate in Hungarian language, but registered in another country.

These companies often organise active media campaigns, their domains include “.hu”, the page is also in Hungarian, however the seat of the company is not found in Hungary.

Frequent problems are as follows:

In most cases these companies does not have a customer service in Hungary, therefore complaint management may encounter difficulties, but in addition to the language problems the personal contact may also involve geographical barrier. Communication apart from the post is possible exclusively by e-mail or phone.

In connection with such sites most complaints object the lack of the Hungarian instruction manual, or the Hungarian menu. It also may happen that the household appliance does not meet the Hungarian technical requirements, thus the product cannot be used.

Although the legislation ensures the right of withdrawal within 14 days after purchase without presenting any reason, the cost of return shall be borne by the consumer. The problem may arise that the product shall be returned to an address in a foreign country, the cost of which is much higher.

It might be problematic that the webshops operated by foreign traders generally deliver the goods only after paying the purchase price, and when the product is not delivered to the consumer or it is defective the enforcement of claims related to breach of the contract may cause difficulties (lengthy litigation with a foreign company) and entail high costs (court, translation costs).

Based on the cross-border consumer complaints, the European Consumer Centre operating in the organisation of the Hungarian Authority for Consumer Protection highlights the importance of calling the attention of consumers to search for the seat of the company on their website before purchase.

Looking for information on internet forums may also help, as useful information about the webshop, its operator and also experiences of other consumers (considered as not decisive) can be found there, which may facilitate to decide whether buying from that webshop is safe.

Should any problem occur in connection with such an order consumers can contact the European Consumer Centre. It is possible when any Hungarian consumer has a legal debate with an enterprise, service provider seated in another EU member state or Iceland and Norway.

The ECC provides professional and legal assistance free-of-charge, and our organisation makes all efforts to reach an agreement in order to avoid lengthy and costly litigation procedure. The centre publishes additional useful information on cross-border online purchase on its website (

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This website is part of the action 670686 — ECC-Net HU FPA which has received funding under a grant for an ECC action from the European Union’s Consumer Programme (2014-2020).

The European Consumer Centre Hungary is committed to publish professional, accurate and up-to-date information on its website. Nevertheless it shall be underlined that the content and information appearing on the website represents the views of the author only and it is his/her sole responsibility; it cannot be considered to reflect the views of the European Commission and/or the Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency or any other body of the European Union. The European Commission and the Agency do not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains. Furthermore the content of the website do not have a legally binding effect in the frame of administrative procedures conducted by the consumer protection authority or by other public bodies and in the alternative dispute procedures or in civil procedures, either.