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Articles about Consumer Rights

ISPs failing 13m Brits on broadband speed, claims consumer group

Fast and reliable broadband connections remain a distant dream for far too many Brits, researchers at a consumer group claimed on Friday. It's estimated by Which? that around 13 million households across Blighty are saddled with slow access to the country's networks. The issue was compounded by poor service, the outfit added. …
Kelly Fiveash, 21 Mar 2014

Apple blacklisted by Chinese consumer watchdog

A Chinese consumer rights group has slammed Apple’s after-sales service as unfair and placed it on an “integrity blacklist” after numerous complaints about maintenance and support. The China Consumer Association in the southern province of Guangdong released a report into the tech giant’s support policies last week, citing …
Phil Muncaster, 30 Jul 2012
Cthulu springs from HP desktop printer

HP prosecuted by Australian consumer regulator

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the nation's guardian of consumer rights and regulator of competition and consumer law, has commenced legal action against HP over its warranty and repair practices. The ACCC is upset with HP for five reasons, namely: The remedies available for a faulty HP product were …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Oct 2012
cloud

EU ministers strip consumer rights law of controversial elements

EU member states have given a proposed Consumer Rights Directive the go-ahead but have removed its most controversial elements. A European Parliament vote in March is the last hurdle to the passing of the law. Consumer protection advocates have said that the new version of the Directive will have little practical impact on UK …
Kable, 28 Jan 2011
Nikon D600

China's annual TV smear segment drags Nikon's name through the mud

Nikon is braced for weeks of fun after it was targeted by Chinese state broadcaster CCTV in an annual consumer complaints show which last year forced a grovelling apology from Apple. The investigative program “3.15” broadcast a special edition last Saturday to coincide with World Consumer Rights Day, however it’s often used to …
Phil Muncaster, 18 Mar 2014
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Gov to encourage e-commerce by clarifying consumer rights

The Government plans to clarify and simplify consumers' rights in a bid to encourage online shoppers to make more use of them. It will publish a plan in the summer for helping shoppers to understand and exercise their rights. Government-commissioned research has found that 57% of UK consumers overall said that they would take …
OUT-LAW.COM, 06 May 2009
The Register breaking news

Consumer Watchdog lambasts Los Angeles over Google Apps

Consumer Watchdog president Jamie Court has given Los Angeles city council members an impassioned speech about the failings of its Google Apps contract, even though the meeting to discuss the issue has been moved to next week. He claimed that schools in the Los Gatos Union School District, about an hour south of San Francisco, …
Iain Thomson, 27 Oct 2011
management regulation1

Google facing $5 BEEELLION antitrust fine in India

Google may be in the midst of securing a deal on its long-running search dispute with the European Union, but it’s still facing a possible $US5bn (£3bn) fine from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) over allegations it has abused its market leading position in the internet search space. Local laws state that the CCI can …
Phil Muncaster, 10 Mar 2014
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BAN THIS SICK FILCH: Which? demands end to £1.50-per-min 'help' lines

Consumer campaigners at Which? are calling for a ban on costly helpline and customer call-lines. Executive director Richard Lloyd said it was "outrageous" to force people with questions or complaints to call higher-rate numbers - such as those starting with 09, 0845, 0844, and 0871 - that could charge up to £1.50 a minute. "It' …
graph up

Gov report urges total consumer contract law overhaul

A Government report has recommended a complete overhaul of consumer law which would bring together the disparate laws that currently govern the sale of goods and services to consumers. Pointing out that three laws currently govern consumer sales contracts, the report recommends creating a single law as well as ensuring that it …
OUT-LAW.COM, 15 Nov 2010
homeless man with sign

UK shoppers ignorant of online rights

UK web users are Europe's biggest online shoppers but are not aware of their consumer rights when it comes to e-commerce, a government survey has found. UK shoppers spent £38bn online in 2009, 10 per cent of the total amount spent overall, making them the European Union's biggest online spenders, according to figures from the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 12 Mar 2010
channel

Law Commissions call for new consumer compo law

A new law should be created giving consumers the right to take misleading and aggressive businesses to court, the Law Commission and Scottish Law Commission have said. The new law would only apply to transactions between a business and a consumer, the Law Commissions said as they launched a consultation into whether there should …
OUT-LAW.COM, 19 Apr 2011
cloud

A third of online shops undermine consumer rights

Nearly a third of retail websites surveyed by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) are breaking laws designed to protect shoppers. The OFT analysed over 500 UK shopping websites to see if they complied with consumer protection laws by, for example, including physical addresses on sites, telling shoppers of their rights and being …
OUT-LAW.COM, 13 Mar 2008
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Judge confirms Google's miserly $22.5m Safari privacy FTC payout

A US judge has accepted Google's offer of just $22.5m to settle with the FTC over Safari cookies, despite pressure from a consumer rights group to stiffen the penalty. District Judge Susan Illston decided that the agreement was "substantively fair, adequate and reasonable", rejecting Consumer Watchdog's objections that the …

Probe of Hollywood-Euro Pay TV contracts: What happens next?

By now the dust has settled on Monday’s statement by the European Commission that it will investigate the licensing agreements between the major US Hollywood studios and their European broadcasting counterparts, targeting the exclusive nature in any given European country. But what is the likely outcome? This is the kind of …
Faultline, 20 Jan 2014
The Register breaking news

Consumer group preps legal challenge to Facebook terms

A Norwegian consumer protection agency is preparing a legal challenge to Facebook and other social networking companies, accusing them of operating "in a legal vacuum and irrespective of norms and standards". Forbrukerrådet, the Norwegian Consumer Council, has studied the privacy policies and terms and conditions of social …
OUT-LAW.COM, 30 Nov 2009
neelie kroes

Steelie Neelie calls for TOTAL BAN on EU mobe roaming charges

The European Commission is planning to scrap all roaming charges across the Continent as part of its efforts to turn the telecoms market into a single market across all EU countries. Announcing the proposed changes, the EC said they'd be good for everyone, reducing red tape for companies and letting them expand across borders, …
management regulation2

EU agrees to make documents available to support anti-cartel suits

Companies and individuals affected by cartel activity in Europe will gain access to vital documents to help sue for damages under new proposals which the European Commission says will ensure they "can obtain the evidence necessary to prove their claims". MEPs and European Council representatives agreed the terms on the proposed …
OUT-LAW.COM, 24 Mar 2014
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EU red-tape slash shock: New tool defuses web shop argy-bargies

Online traders will be able to resolve contractual disputes with consumers based in other EU countries through a new online dispute resolution (ODR) framework after MEPs voted to back the new regime earlier this week. The European Parliament approved a new ODR Regulation and a new Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Directive …
OUT-LAW.COM, 15 Mar 2013
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Norway accuses iTunes of consumer-rights violations

The Consumer Council of Norway (CCN) has accused Apple's iTunes Music Store operation of violating the country's Marketing Control Act, and it has asked Norway's consumer ombudsman to intervene on behalf of digital music buyers. It also asked the ombudsman to investigate three other download services. The CCN reckons ITMS and …
Tony Smith, 27 Jan 2006
The Register breaking news

Gov mulls ban on wallet-draining charges for card payments

The government is to consult on plans to ban companies levying surcharges on consumers when they use payment cards later this summer, the Consumer Affairs minister has said. Some companies currently charge consumers a fee for buying goods or services using credit or debit cards or via other payment methods. Under government …
OUT-LAW.COM, 19 Jun 2012

Celebrity conspiracy as Apple attacked over customer service

Eagle-eyed weibo fans in China have uncovered what appears to be a pre-meditated and co-ordinated attempt to smear Apple following a high profile consumer rights programme on national TV which slammed the firm for its customer service. The broadcast on state-run CCTV – a hugely popular and influential consumer rights programme …
Phil Muncaster, 18 Mar 2013

Locked into fixed-term mobile contract with variable prices? Not on our watch – Ofcom

Mobile operators who try to increase the price of a mobile phone contract during its term must now allow locked-in customers to escape, says Ofcom. The regulator's new rules kick in from the end of January, and only apply to new contracts, but all operators offering fixed-term contracts will have to provide 30 days' notice and a …
Bill Ray, 24 Oct 2013

Bipartisan senator group goes to bat for Apple in Samsung dispute

A bipartisan group of US senators has written to the Obama administration's US trade representative, recommending that he take a closer look at US International Trade Commission's ruling that would bar Apple from importing some of its older iPhones and iPads into the US market. Their reasoning involves what they claim is misuse …
Rik Myslewski, 31 Jul 2013
cloud

Law Commissions want to keep UK consumers' refund rights

UK consumers should be able to demand refunds for faulty goods despite attempts by the European Commission to undermine that right, the Law Commission and the Scottish Law Commission have said. The Commissions have been asked by Government to undertake a consultation on consumers' rights when goods are faulty, and they have said …
OUT-LAW.COM, 11 Nov 2008

OEMs and sellers must pay refunds on software faults - OFT

Businesses that sell digital content to consumers should generally be responsible for providing refunds when services connected to that content fall below "quality standards" due to faults with the content, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has said. The UK's consumer protection regulator said that consumers should have a "right …
OUT-LAW.COM, 30 Oct 2012
Great Wall of China

Microsoft follows Apple into the dock over warranty terms in China

Hot on the heels of Apple’s well publicised run-in with the Chinese authorities over alleged deficiencies in its customer service, Microsoft is now being targeted by state-run media which claims its Surface Pro warranty terms do not comply with local laws. A China National Radio report on Monday claimed that Redmond is only …
Phil Muncaster, 10 Apr 2013
Gavel

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 ( …
John Oates, 15 Nov 2007

Russia blocks Monsanto corn in GM study fallout

Monsanto’s GM corn, the centre of a storm inspired by the now-notorious French “rat tumours” study, has been banned from Russia following a decision by consumer rights regulator Rospotrebnadzor. The ban is more symbolic than anything else: Russia doesn’t allow its farmers to plant GM corn, and is a net exporter of grains. …

Tim Cook eats necessary crow, apologizes to China

Apple CEO Tim Cook has released an open apology to his company's Chinese customers after coming under increasing pressure from that government's propaganda machine's attacks on Cupertino's customer-service practices. In a letter published on Apple's Chinese website (Google Translate) – and which some of The Reg's Chinese- …
Rik Myslewski, 01 Apr 2013
The Register breaking news

Consumer group calls for anti-DRM laws

A UK-based consumer rights group has called for MPs to introduce new laws to ensure consumers' rights to use digital content are protected. The use of digital rights management technology on CDs, DVDs and music downloads to control or restrict the use of copyrighted digital works shows that the current regime of self-regulation …
John Leyden, 18 Jan 2006

Copyright trolls, biz scum, freetards - it's NOT black and white

A new intellectual property rights organisation has popped up in the United States called New Media Rights. New Media Rights strikes a different balance than most intellectual property organisations; they champion the rights of independent creators as well as those of individual consumers. New Media Rights provide free legal …
Trevor Pott, 15 Dec 2012
TVonics HV250

Administrator eyes DVR firesale after TVonics collapse

UK DVR maker TVonics has gone into administration. The maker of Freeview HD recorders, including the DTR-Z500HD and DTR-HD500, was placed in the hands of Bell Advisory on 12 June. And, though it’s been in administration before and survived, back in 2008, things don’t look good this time round. A spokesman confirmed today that …
Nigel Whitfield, 27 Jun 2012
The Register breaking news

Give us digital rights for digital consumers

The UK's National Consumer Council (NCC) has lent its voice to pan European calls for the music and film industries to stop treating consumers like pirates. The pan European consumer organisation BEUC is launching a campaign, backed by MEP Zuzana Roithova, to see consumers' digital rights enshrined in law because it believes …
Lucy Sherriff, 10 Nov 2005
The Register breaking news

'Oppressive' UK copyright law: More cobblers from IP quangos

A new report by intellectual property campaigners has again put the UK on the naughty step. This year, as last year, activists list the UK alongside Brazil and Thailand as having the most "oppressive" copyright laws in the world. The report was published by an international NGO called Consumer International, but this delegates …
Andrew Orlowski, 02 May 2012
The Register breaking news

Russia launches internet blacklist to protect the kiddies

The Russian government has opened a blacklist of websites that will be blocked from domestic internet users to avoid them harming themselves with too much information. The new rules mean that ISPs will automatically block websites that the courts have deemed inappropriate. The law was introduced with the usual caveats about it …
Iain Thomson, 01 Nov 2012
The Register breaking news

Microsoft: Office 2013 license is for just one PC, FOREVER

Microsoft has clarified the licensing for retail versions of its Office 2013 productivity suite, confirming that boxed editions of the software are licensed for a single PC only and that the license may never be transferred, even if the user upgrades to a new PC. Over the past week, Office users around the web have expressed …
Neil McAllister, 20 Feb 2013

EU policy-makers roll out red carpet for cloud adoption

Public sector procurement regulators at the European Union (EU) look to have finally got a grasp on the issues around cloud computing in Europe – which is good news for both users and providers of cloud computing services. Like the UK government, with its G-Cloud initiative, the EU has declared that the use of public software-as …
David McLeman, 27 Sep 2012
The Register breaking news

Report: Web firms must do better for foreign punters

More companies need to participate in cross-border online trading in order to improve competition and help attract more consumers with lower prices, a new report by consumer organisations has said. The report said the online shopping experience has improved for consumers, with 94 per cent of cross-border orders being …
OUT-LAW.COM, 06 Oct 2011
The Register breaking news

Antitrust probe looms over Windows RT 'browser ban'

US politicians are reportedly poring over complaints by Mozilla that Microsoft will block access to rival browsers in Windows 8 on ARM, aka Windows RT. The powerful Senate Judiciary Committee plans to “take a look” at the allegations made by the Firefox maker last week, which were backed up by Google. Whispers of a probe …
Gavin Clarke, 14 May 2012
The Register breaking news

China wants global ecommerce crown

China has revealed ambitious growth plans to lead the word in e-commerce, quadrupling web sales to reach 18 trillion (£1.4tr) by 2015, but laid out a strict new set of policy measures to get there. A lengthy missive sent from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) outlines the country’s 12th ‘five year plan’ …
Phil Muncaster, 28 Mar 2012
The Register breaking news

US Dept of Commerce talks DRM with consumer groups

The U.S. Department of Commerce's Technology Administration is making good its promise to host a consumer-focused meeting on digital rights management. The Technology Administration will host a private meeting for about 15 consumer advocates September 17, after a group of Free Software and fair use activists protested at a big …
Grant Gross, 11 Sep 2002
globalisation

Budget airlines warned over 'hidden' debit card charges

UK consumer watchdogs are threatening enforcement action against airlines and other travel firms over allegedly misleading debit and credit card surcharging practices. The Office of Fair Trading said it was considering action under consumer protection laws in response to a complaint by consumer rights magazine Which?, which …
John Leyden, 29 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

Google defends itself before Senate antitrust hearing

Just ahead of its grilling in front of the Senate in Washington, Google has set up a blog page answering some of the anti-competition allegations against it. Set up as a point-by-point statement and rebuttal, the webpage answers some of the accusations levelled at the search engine behemoth by business group Fairsearch, which …
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Europe-wide ecommerce laws ahoy!

Any European citizen buying from any website within Europe will be protected by the same consumer rights on prices, delivery and returns. The EU-wide law was passed by the European Parliament this morning. It means punters will have a two-week cooling off period after receiving goods and must be given precise information on …
John Oates, 23 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

Google gives in: Schmidt to face US antitrust grilling

Google has agreed to have Eric Schmidt answer US politicians' concerns that the company is running an anticompetitive search and ads monopoly. Schmidt will testify before the Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights in the Fall. He will appear after the committee's Senators Herb Kohl and Mike …
Gavin Clarke, 08 Jul 2011
The Register breaking news

MEPs wave through IP rights enforcement

The European Parliament has passed the IP Rights Enforcement Directive, unchanged from its mid February draft. It includes none of the amendments proposed by civil liberties and consumer rights groups, and sets the scene for a European version of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The directive will become EU law in two …
Lucy Sherriff, 09 Mar 2004
The Register breaking news

Consumer watchdog is anti spam

The shoppers champion - the Consumers Association - has finally got an opinion about spam. As incredible as it seems, until now the CA has just been unable to decide whether it should defend Net users against the vermin of unsolicited commercial e-mail or not. Sitting on the fence and its hands simultaneously - no mean …
Tim Richardson, 19 Jul 2000
The Register breaking news

FCC commish to lobby for Comcast-NBC giant she OK'd

An FCC commissioner who argued for and voted to approve Comcast's $6.5bn borging of NBC Universal is quitting her government position to become a lobbyist for the communications and media giant she helped to bring into existence. Meredith Attwell Baker – who was one of two Republicans serving on the five-member commission – will …
Gavin Clarke, 12 May 2011
The Register breaking news

Kill the EU IP Rights Enforcement Bill!

Civil liberties and consumer rights groups are calling on MEPs to reject the EU Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive. Today (3 March) is the last day that amendments can be tabled before the final debate and vote, from 8-11 March. IP Justice, an international coalition of civil liberties groups and consumer …
Lucy Sherriff, 03 Mar 2004