A new EU report out today finds that shoppers still face unjustified discrimination due to nationality and place of residence.

The report looked at the implementation of EU consumer law and finds that business practices such as geo-blocking are still preventing consumers from accessing services, particularly when shopping online. 

It was produced by the European Consumer Centre (ECC) Ireland, in conjunction with the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland. 

The report showed that Ireland sends the third highest number of complaints in the EU regarding this issue - 66 in total.

The top spot was taken by Austria with 138 complaints, followed by Italy in second place with 68 complaints. 

The report found that consumers continue to face restrictions and are regularly confronted with refusal to deliver or higher prices based on their nationality or place of residence. 

The complaints show that some traders have created artificial barriers and the reasons given for the restrictions applied are often unjustified. 

Highlighted in the report is the case of a marathon runner who had to pay extra because he had an Irish address. 

Another case involved a shopper who was charged extra by a UK online trader because she was using an Irish credit card.

Other examples of discrimination included a holidaymaker who could not hire a car because she had an Irish licence.

The report said that all these traders' tactics are illegal under EU consumer protection rules.

The EU report also showed that complaints about discrimination based on location were up 140% in the two years from 2013 to 2015 compared to the previous two years. 

More than 82% of cases reported related to consumers' residence rather than nationality and took place mostly in relation to online transactions.

Nearly 68% of complaints were where consumers faced price or service differentiation, mainly with the purchase of goods such as electronic, household appliances, vehicles, clothes, books, music or data downloads.