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Online Supermarkets Hit With Cost Of Implementing Changes From New EU Consumer Rights Directive

Published on Jun 15 2014 11:55 AM in Technology

Online Supermarkets Hit With Cost Of Implementing Changes From New EU Consumer Rights Directive

New EU legislation has strengthened consumer rights by introducing changes to online ordering procedures.

In line with the new EU Consumer Rights Directive, online retailers, including Europe's multichannel supermarkets, must now implement the required website design changes in relation to web ordering, cancellation and refund processes.

Internet retailers must now display order buttons on webstores - clearly showing that the online shopper is entering into a contract with an obligation to pay for the order.

Buttons such as ‘order and pay now’ have replaced the exisiting ‘confirm’ or ‘buy’ buttons.

Internet retailers must also do away with pre-ticked boxes for additional services charged e.g. insurance for a device.

Sellers can no longer charge more for credit card payments than it costs to provide the service.

Also, only the basic call rate can be charged for hotline calls.

The ‘cooling off’ period has now been extended to two weeks from its current seven days.

Customers must also return goods within 14 days of receipt in order to avail of the online seller's standard refund procedure.

The new directive also prevents retailers from charging more for credit card payments than it costs them to provide the service and from charging more than the basic rate for hotline calls.

Retailers now face increased IT costs in making the various website design changes - order buttons, ticking boxes, cancellation rights and refunds policy.

The legislation makes it easier for businesses to trade across sales channels in Europe by reducing cross-border transactional charges.

However, the Flash Eurobarometer 358 and 359 (2013) highlights how only 25 % of EU businesses sell across borders.

The report also revealed that 40 % of EU traders regard the cost of complying with the various national consumer protection rules as a big obstacle to trading.

© 2014 - European Supermarket Magazine

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