The European Commission today presents a proposal which equalizes the guarantee period for consumers who shop online in all member states. If this proposal is accepted, it will be a major change for consumers and retailers in Europe and could really boost cross-border ecommerce.
Detailhandel Nederland, which represents the Dutch council for SME-retailers, says the proposal is “very important for retailers who want do business across the border, but also for consumers so they can shop with confidence in other countries”. The organization thinks it’s a good step towards having a situation where the same rules apply for all similar purchases across Europe, regardless of the sales channel.
Equalizing the guarantee rule
Currently there are many differences between the countries in Europe when it comes to laws and regulations. This is one of the main reasons cross-border online purchases still stays behind. That’s something the European Commission acknowledges and one way to change this, is to equalize the guarantee rule.
If the proposal is accepted, the guarantee period of products that are purchased online will last two years, all over Europe. “Equal rules provide more clarity, so retailers can go cross-border with confidence”, says Margriet Keijzer from Detailhandel Nederland. “Right now, retailers need to take into account 28 different national consumer laws.”
‘Also for purchases in physical stores’
Detailhandel Nederland however, also wants the European Commission to change the rules for purchases done in physical stores. The organization thinks there should be one set of rules that are applicable to all purchases, regardless of the sales channel. “There will be the two year guarantee period online, but other rules may apply for offline purchases. So if a customer orders, let’s say, a kitchen partly online and partly offline, an unworkable situation ensues.”