These restrictions reached the Portuguese Association for Consumer Protection (DECO) that required policy-makers to adopt new measures that would eliminate the possibility of discriminatory practises due to a place of residence.
With pressure from DECO and after the discussion by the Parliament of Madeira, the Assembly of the Republic ended up drawing up a new law that bans discrimination of any kind regarding online sales based at the consumer's place of residence or establishment.
According to DECO, regardless of the consumer's place of residence, companies in Portugal:
• Are banned from limiting consumer access to their websites, or from redirecting to another website without their consent;
• Cannot apply different conditions to online payment transactions due to the consumer's place of residence or establishment.
• They must provide delivery conditions for their goods or services throughout Portuguese territory. However, they may have different conditions depending on the place of delivery, namely in terms of the delivery or transport costs.
“Despite the European Regulation on this matter, the truth is that since it only applies in cross-border relationships, it prevents many consumers from having access to goods at a national level. Cross-border geo-blocking was forbidden, but not at a national level”, DECO added.
According to the consumers association, DECO will monitor the implementation of the law to ensure that no consumer living in Portugal is discriminated against based on their place of residence or place of establishment.
Paula Martins is a fully qualified journalist, who finds writing a means of self-expression. She studied Journalism and Communication at University of Coimbra and recently Law in the Algarve. Press card: 8252