Friday, 22 June 2007

One in four web merchants do not know web shopping laws


"While 56% of internet shoppers surveyed did not know about their right to cancel under the Distance Selling Regulations, 29% did not know where to turn to get advice on their rights.

The OFT estimates that by searching more effectively, shoppers could save £150 million to £240 million each year. The report also suggests that shoppers are hindered by "unexpected additional charges which are sometimes added in the latter stages of a purchase." It reckons that shoppers pay £60 million to £100 million a year in unexpected additional charges.

Two-thirds of UK-based traders had never sought advice on internet shopping laws, according to the OFT's research. More than one-fifth of sites examined by the OFT failed to provide an email address, a requirement of the E-commerce Regulations.

One fifth of online electrical retailers did not think that buyers had a right to cancel, and more than half wrongly thought that they could withhold the cost of outward delivery when refunding shoppers."

Holy Cow. This topic interests me (slightly, anyway) for two key reasons. One: I took a module in computer law last year and two, I was involved in the creation of an online shop last summer. Whatever way you slice it though, it’s readily apparent that there’s a lot of ignorance and naivety out there. And I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

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