Be prepared when shopping Christmas gifts cross-border –
ECC-Net launches checklists for consumers shopping online.
In the run up to Christmas more and more consumers are looking for the best deals Europe wide. The European Consumer Centres has 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 checklists and a test-yourself quiz on online consumer rights for consumers. This material 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.
This guide is intended to provide advice to consumers so they can avoid the most common problems when buying online. We point out the most important things to keep in mind when shopping online, before, during and after purchase. Below are some key points:
- 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.
The aim of the Network is to increase consumer confidence in the European Internal Market by providing consumers with information on their rights under European consumer legislation, and by giving advice and assistance in the resolution of their individual cross-border complaints. As the ECC-Net deals with cross-border consumer complaints and disputes, it is in a unique position to document the problems consumers face when shopping within the EU, Norway and Iceland.
Downloads for European Consumer Centres E-commerce report 2014: