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EU Consumer Affairs

63% ecommerce websites breach consumer rights

The European Commission carried out a check across 697 ecommerce websites across the European Union and found that 63 percent of them had missing, unclear of incomprehensible information on the right of withdrawal from a transaction. One in three websites had incomplete or unclear details about the trader, while one in five failed to provide consumers with a clear display of price or contract conditions.

The European Commission organizes so called sweeps regularly, in order to verify how EU consumer rules are applied in practice. Last week, authorities swept 697 ecommerce websites across Europe, of which 436 were confirmed to have some irregularities.  After the sweep, 88 percent of these websites have been corrected. For the 83 websites that are still not compliant, national administrative or legal proceedings will follow.

Sweep

The right of withdrawal from a transaction

During the check, the European Commission found several issues. Almost two in three websites didn’t have all the information on the right of withdrawal from a transaction that’s required by law. “For example, websites did not contain a relevant withdrawal form while it was their legal obligation, or did not inform consumer about the exact number of days (14 days) available to him/her to withdraw from an online transaction.”

One in three websites had incomplete or unclear details about the traders. The EC found websites for example that didn’t give the address or full name of the trader, also something that is required if you sell products or services online. Authorities also found that 21 percent of websites didn’t inform clearly or prominent about the price of contract conditions before the order confirmation. And a slightly smaller percentage (18%) of websites contained unclear information on product or service characteristics.

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