Consumer watchdog fires warning shot at online sellers

by Andrew Shipp

01-11-2012

As the retail sector gets ready for the Christmas selling season, online retailers have been given a timely warning to make sure their websites and procedures match up to consumer protection regulations or face action.

A report by the Office for Fair Trading (OFT) has highlighted areas where online retailers need to get their act together in the run up to Christmas.  Earlier this year, the OFT carried out checks on the websites of 156 major online retailers, to see whether they were complying with consumer protection regulations.  The OFT has now published the results of that survey, which has resulted in written notices to 62 of the retailers, pointing out where they are falling short.
The most common examples of non-compliance are:

Gardner Leader’s Digital Law expert Andrew Shipp says “The OFT report is hitting retailers in the run-up to the frantic Christmas shopping period, and sets out a tough reminder to put their house in order as quickly as possible.”

“It’s not just about the major retailers who have been identified, as any online seller who doesn’t match up is going to be in line for penalties in future, and non compliance is bad for business because it damages reputation as well as leading to tough penalties.”

“Every business selling online needs to examine their online trading terms and procedures to make sure they do not fall foul of the rules.”

For more information contact Andrew Shipp on 01635 508080


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