Ecommerce Websites - New EU Laws on Consumer Rights

To protect customers purchasing products and services online, a strict set of rules applies to ecommerce websites. These  rules have recently been changed in line with EU Consumer Rights Law and it is essential that all ecommerce business owners are aware of how the changes may affect them.

Passed in 1997, the previous Consumer Rights laws required an overhaul as online retail was then in its infancy and did not even merit a single mention in the bill. The new changes have a sharp focus on eradicating hidden costs, those extra and unexpected charges that are sometimes added at the end of a purchase.

The extra charges themselves remain permissible but the new law states that they must be fully, clearly and immediately presented to the potential online customer even before any price is calculated. Many websites use an ‘opt-out’ function whereby they automatically add supplementary items (anything from travel insurance to a gift-wrapping service) which must be removed before purchase if not desired; this function is also illegal under the new ecommerce websites law.

Unfortunately, the new laas have not been widely publicised and so many ecommerce retailers online may be breaking the law without realising it. Failure to comply with the law means that Trading Standards may order a refund and also allow the customer to keep the goods and persistent offenders will be liable to prosecution.

If you feel the new laws may affect your website, give Brick technology a call today on 01254 277190 or email

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