Feeds

EC wants pan-Euro online shopping laws

Now all we need is pan-Euro shopping police

High performance access to file storage

An EU directive that will harmonise consumer protection for online and bricks and mortar sales made another lurch along the Brussels’ legislative roadmap yesterday.

The European Commission’s proposed consumer rights directive builds on proposals first made last year to simplify and replace four existing directives covering consumer rights. It will now work its way at its leisure through the Council of Ministers and the Parliament.

The commission’s avowed aim “is to boost consumer confidence and at the same time to cut red tape which is holding back business within national borders – denying consumers more choice and competitive offers”.

It reckons this will produce a standard set of consumer contracts and reduce compliance costs by 97 per cent. It also hopes that customers will be confident enough to not just shop online with suppliers in their own countries, but to spread their wings and buy right across the union.

The directive demands that sellers – from shops to auctioneers on eBay – provide specified “pre-contractual” information. Maximum delivery time will be set at 30 calendar days, with sellers bearing the risk of deterioration and loss. A 14-day Europe-wide cooling-off period will also be imposed for distance sales, and there will be common rules on repairs and replacements, as well as a blacklist of unfair contractual terms.

EU Consumer Commissioner Meglena Kuneva said: "The Single Market has the potential to deliver a lot more choice and opportunities for consumers. But for that we need an EU-wide safety net of rights so consumers have the security they need to shop around with peace of mind."

Sadly, peace of mind won’t be extended to a number of areas, including financial services, timeshare and package travel, real estate, nor “distance contracts for the provision of accommodation, transport, car rental services, catering or leisure services”. Still, there have never been any problems with these whatsoever, so nothing to worry about.

One thing that does appear to be missing from the proposals is any indication of who will be policing the regulations. With authorities often sluggish in going to bat for their own citizens in consumer disputes, many will be sceptical of how eager, say, regulators in Greece will be to crack down on unscrupulous sellers preying on wide-eyed consumers in, say, Scotland. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
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
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
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
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
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.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
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.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.