OFT hammers auction sites on consumer info
Auction websites are being forced to change the way they show users what their consumer rights are.
After discussions with the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), eBay, along with QXL, eBid and Tazbar, will include advice and links to external sites to explain to bidders what their rights are under the Distance Selling Regulations (DSR).
DSR applies when businesses use auction sites as a sales channel. If you buy an item using the "Buy it Now" function you have the right to return items under DSR provisions.
The OFT conducted a study this summer which found many businesses not identifying themselves as such, despite consumers wanting to know if they are buying from a company or an individual.
DSR gives you the right to return goods within seven days, starting from the day after the goods arrive. Additionally, businesses which are covered by DSR must identify themselves to consumers and give information on cancellation rights before a contract is concluded.
The auction websites have also agreed to inform businesses which are using their sites of their obligations under the E-Commerce Regulations.
eBay UK sent us the following statement: "We believe it can only enhance consumers' confidence in the internet if they are aware of their rights. We already educate buyers and sellers as to their rights and obligations. However, there is always more that can be done and we are working closely with the OFT and the rest of the industry to make sure that consumers and businesses alike get the most out of the internet."
Ebay -- too little, as usual and where are the NAMES and ADDRESSES?
Ebay agrees that buyers should know their rights.
Fine, but why is it that despite the myriad things you can report, "seller misrepresenting trading status" is not one of them?
Ebay does say (but it's tucked away) that any seller who buys or makes things to sell should register as a business seller. Private sellers are those selling only unwanted presents and used family items. But if you find a seller that's fraudulently misrepresenting themselves to be a private seller (as in my estimation probably 50% or more are), WHERE DO YOU REPORT IT?
Its not hard to spot when sellers do this, but there's absolutely nothing we can do to force ebay to take action against them.
Anyway, getting the status right is only HALF the problem. Trading standards also says that business sellers must display their name and address either "on each listing or in their ME page".
OK, so what percentage of ebay business sellers actually comply with the law? Less than 10%.
Its fine for the OFT to pontificate, but what's needed is high profile ACTION against a representative sample of those trading unlawfully.
Ebay should ONLY be listing vat-inclusive prices -- ITS THE LAW
Ebay is completely WRONG in allowing vat-exclusive prices to be listed AT ALL.
Trading standards says clearly and unambiguously that sellers should not display "misleading prices" and that prices are MISLEADING if they don't include compulsory extras such as taxes.
In other words, there should be NO vat-exclusive prices shown on ebay, and ebay is aiding and abetting by enabling that facility within the UK.
About time too!
Damn sellers thinking they have rights !
Too many of em want to just shift boxes of (untested) catalog returns and dont care that you bought it and it does not work, then wont refund any of the £1000 postage they have charged for a £1 item....
Well ok thats a bit exagerrated BYKWIM