According to a recent report entitled ‘Do Invisible Borders Still Restrict Consumer Access to Services in the EU?’, online shoppers can be discriminated against on the basis of nationality through geo-blocking – the prevention of customers in one EU country being able to buy products from a company’s website in another EU country. The report, which was published by the European Consumer Centre Ireland, suggests that Irish consumers are the third most likely in Europe to complain about being geo-blocked. The Irish Times suggests that the EU is now likely to call for tougher enforcement against geo-blocking, on the grounds that it breaches EU single market rules.
Falling mobile bills
ComReg, the general communications regulator for Ireland, has released a report which confirms that Ireland is one of the cheapest European countries for mobile phone users, according to the Irish Independent. The report states that the average mobile phone bill has shrunk to €24.32 per month in Ireland – the first ever time it has fallen below the €25 mark. On the flipside, however, the report also found that Ireland is among the most expensive European countries for landline calls. Swings and roundabouts.
Irish consumers flock online
Irish consumers are spending less in shops, as the falling value of the sterling drives shoppers online, TheJournal.ie reports. That’s according to the latest Irish consumer spending index from Visa Europe, which notes a drop of just over 3 per cent in in-store spending in November when compared to the same period in 2015. Visa’s Ireland country manager, Philip Konopik, attributes the trend to the sterling’s recent three-year-low. “Despite leading into one of the busiest trading periods in the year, there has been a massive shift to online shopping due to the weak sterling exchange rate,” he said.