18 October 2013
The European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) has ascertained how well various trust marks used in internet commerce in the EU area achieve their goals, guaranteeing consumers safe and functional possibilities for making purchases. According to the report, the uniformity of the criteria and clarity of the different trust marks need to be improved throughout Europe. Consumers also want more information on various trust marks.
The results of The European Consumer Centres Network's common "Can I trust the trust mark?" report, which was made public in Brussels on 16 October 2013 reveal that consumers appreciate various confidence labels in online sales, but they lack information on the content and reliability of the marks. In its report, The European Consumer Centres Network conducted a detailed analysis of 54 different trust mark systems that are in use within the EU .
Hard for consumers to compare different marks
The coverage of the systems varied considerably both within the EU, and within individual countries. According to the report, consumers will confront an impenetrable jungle if they try to compare the various trust marks on their own, or to evaluate the true reliability of an individual mark, and what the appearance of the mark on some online commerce site might mean.
The European Consumer Centres Network recommends that the organisations behind the various trust marks, and the member companies using them should develop and standardise the best practices criteria and the indications on a European scale. Additionally, they should offer consumers more information on trust marks in several languages.
So far, one trust mark for online sales is in use in Finland: that of Internet Industry Finland.
"The practice of seeking information through trust marks for internet sales has not taken foothold in Finland", says Leena Lindström, the Director of the European Consumer Centres Network Finland.
The report is based on an online survey made at the end of 2012, which got responses from 573 European consumers in 19 different countries.