Feeds

OFT goes Christmas shopping to test website compliance

Top 600 retail sites get festive health check

High performance access to file storage

The UK's top 600 retail websites will be checked by the Trading Standards officers in about 100 local authorities during December to ensure they comply with key requirements of online shopping laws, the Office of Fair Trading has said.

The exercise will check whether sites provide shoppers with the contact details required by the Distance Selling Regulations, as well as correct information on their right to cancel. It will not check every aspect of legal compliance.

It is estimated that UK consumers will spend £14bn online this Christmas, according to the OFT. However, its research has shown that most online shoppers do not know that they have additional protection, and many websites may be breaching regulations by not fully respecting consumers' rights.

In June, the OFT published the findings of its internet shopping market study, which found that 28 per cent of the online traders it surveyed were unaware or only slightly aware of the laws applying to internet shopping, and 66 per cent had never sought advice on them.

More than 20 per cent of sites did not provide an email address as required by regulations and 16 per cent did not tell shoppers that they had a an unconditional right to cancel without giving a reason, provided they did so within seven working days of receiving their purchase. Most sites (59 per cent) appeared to impose conditions that could prevent or at least deter consumers from exercising their cancellation rights.

Heather Clayton, a senior director at the OFT, said: "Shoppers need to be confident that their rights are respected when they shop online. This sweep will identify where online retailers may be falling short and need to refresh their knowledge of the law."

Trading Standards officers will decide how best to address any potential breaches they identify, according to the OFT. An assessment of the web sweep results will be published in the New Year but offenders will not be named.

Copyright © 2007, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.