Retail websites ignore the law


23 April, 2008

There is widespread failure by online retailers to comply with the laws relating to selling on the internet advises local law firm Forbes Solicitors.

Says Daniel Milnes a Business Law Solicitor specialising in intellectual property and retail, "Despite the Distance Selling Regulations having been in force since 2000, there is widespread non-compliance with various aspects of the law. Not just in this area but also with the laws on disability discrimination, under which such websites must be 'disability friendly'. We encourage all online retailers to check their sites to ensure that they comply with the regulations".

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has released the results of its recent survey of UK-based websites which sell goods directly to customers. Working with trading standards officers, they looked at 530 popular websites and found:

  • 4% of sites appeared not to comply with the law because they either did not provide a physical address or provided only a PO Box number;
  • 15% of sites appeared not to comply with the requirement to give shoppers information on their right to cancel within seven working days;
  • 31% of sites appeared not to comply with the requirement that on cancellation a refund of the full cost of the good would be given. Of these, 56% excluded the cost of original delivery from refunds; and
  • 40% of sites did not indicate, when the price was first shown, that compulsory additional charges would be added, but subsequently included such charges at checkout.

For more information please visit Business Law or call Forbes Solicitors on freephone 0800 689 0831 or contact us by email today.


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