Today, the European Commission published the results of an EU-wide screening, a so-called “sweep”, which examined the websites of 481 e-shops selling clothing and footwear, furniture and household items, and electric appliances. The Commission coordinated the 27 EU consumer protection authorities to simultaneously conduct this “sweep” and found that two-thirds of the screened websites do not comply with basic EU consumer rights.
These are the key results:
While 160 of the screened websites were compliant with EU consumer law, 321 websites (67 percent) exhibited irregularities and were flagged for further investigation.
In over one fifth of the flagged websites, the advertised price was incomplete, as it did not include delivery, shipping or possible additional charges, or information about additional charges was missing.
More than a quarter of the flagged websites failed to inform consumers about their right to withdraw from a contract within 14 days of receiving the good without having to justify it.
Over a third of the flagged websites did not provide consumer information about the legal guarantee of a minimum of two years for goods to be repaired, replaced or reimbursed in case they were faulty at delivery – even if this shows later on.
45 percent of all the screened websites did not provide the legally mandatory link to the Online Dispute Resolution platform.
Didier Reynders, Commissioner for Justice, said: "It is not acceptable that European consumers are not being properly informed of their rights relating to online deliveries in 2 out of 3 web-shops. EU rights, such as the right to return goods within 14 days, boost consumers' online trust. They should not be buried in small print."