Economy What to do in the event of a dispute...

What to do in the event of a dispute with a seller from another European country?


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If today it is very easy to bring in a garden shed from Germany, order a coffee machine in Spain or go through a Croatian airline to plan your vacation, things get complicated in the event of a dispute. … Here are some tips for asserting your rights.

The amicable approach above all

Unsurprisingly, the first instinct to have in case of difficulty with an order, whatever it is, is to turn to the customer service of the professional concerned. The ideal is to act in writing, in order to keep track of your process. Most platforms offer an online complaint form. Some also offer after-sales service via social networks. Remember in both cases to keep a screenshot of your request. Alternatively, use the contact email address or a paper mail.

If after a reasonable period of time, the company continues to turn a deaf ear, you can turn to outside help to toughen it up. Before using a paid legal assistance site, be aware that there are free services available to you. The European Commission thus makes it possible to file an online complaint against a professional established in an EU state, but also in Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, on An independent organization will take care of your business. Other support: the European Consumer Center France. The privileged interlocutor for any cross-border conflict between an individual and an EU professional, this organization provides free information and legal aid services and can be contacted online at

Justice as a last resort

And if, despite all your amicable efforts, no satisfactory solution has been found, you will have to turn to justice to hope to win your case. Note that the European Union has implemented simplified procedures for disputes of less than 5,000 euros with a professional.

Everything can be done remotely, most often without a hearing, using standardized forms and without having to hire a lawyer. In this regard, you have in particular the European order for payment procedure and the European procedure for settling small claims, both of which are free of charge in the French courts. Here again, the European Consumer Center can guide you.



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