09 September 2009

Over 50% of On-Line Sellers break EU Laws

More than 50% of websites selling electronic products across Europe are breaking EU consumer laws.
This is the finding of a recent investigation, co-ordinated by the European Commission.

A majority of websites selling mostly electronic products - such as digital cameras, mobile phones or MP-3 players - fail to comply with rules on explaining the price in clear terms, their company address and details regarding the right to return products.

Increasingly, consumers are turning to the internet to buy everyday electronic gadgets like phones, cameras, iPods or games consoles.
However, consumers have also become more disenchanted about the purchase of electronic equipment on-line, with one third of all customer complaints now relating to digital products.

A survey, conducted by enforcement agencies in 27 European countries, found that 55% of the tested websites show irregularities.
On most of these websites consumers were not informed about their right to return goods within seven days without giving a reason.
Consumers were also misled about whether they could receive cash rather than credit, or about their entitlement to have faulty products replaced.

On-line retail sales of digital goods only are currently worth nearly € 7 billion in Europe each year.

But on nearly half of the problem sites on-line retailers appeared to obscure address and contact details.

The investigation included 15 Irish websites selling electronic equipment. Among them, six "potential problem sites" have now been identified, although so far the National Consumers' Association has refused to name and shame offenders.

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