26 November 2014
The European Consumer Centres have been monitoring online European cross-border trade on a regular basis for over ten years. Now, in time for the Christmas shopping period the network is launching four different checklists on online consumer rights for consumers.
This material included in ECC-Net E-Commerce Report 2014 is aimed at guiding consumers in relation to consumer rights in cross-border e-commerce. 250 million of people, half of the EU population, will regularly buy over the Internet next year making Europe the biggest B2C e-commerce market in the world.
In 2013, 66% of the 32 000 complaints handled by ECC-Net related to online purchases, an increase by 6% compared to 2012.
Below are some key points from different checklists (links to checklists are at the bottom of this page) :
- Know the trader – make sure you have the name and full contact details, including postal address, of the web trader so you know who you are dealing with.
- Always read the terms and conditions applicable to your order and know exactly what you are agreeing to before going ahead with the contract. In particular, ensure you are aware of the trader’s cancellation and return policies.
- You have the right to withdraw from the contract within 14 days from the date of the delivery of the goods. The trader must inform you about this right or the withdrawal period will be extended by up to 1 year. This however does not apply to the booking of travel and accommodation services.
- Unless agreed otherwise, the goods must be delivered to you within 30 days.
Guidelines for traders
Now, for the first time the network is launching an E-Commerce Report 2014 also for traders in order to assist businesses which want to develop their online operations to provide consumer-friendly services.
The most common problems encountered by consumers when engaging in e-commerce were:
- problems referring to non-delivery
- problems related to the product or service itself (defective or delayed)
- issues of non-conformity
The trader-report is intended to provide advice to traders so as to avoid the most common problems that consumers face when buying online.
Reports and checklists:
European Consumer Centres E-Commerce Report 2014. (consumers)
Checklist for consumers 2014, general e-commerce.
Checklist for consumers 2014, unsolicited products.
Checklist for consumers 2014, free package samples.
Checklist for consumers 2014, dating websites.
European Consumer Centres E-Commerce Report 2014. (traders)