All things connected with legitimate buying and selling (B2B and B2C) on the internet – helping to create a safe, compliant, competitive and accessible E-commerce environment.
CTSI E-commerce policy
- to ensure the consumer is an intrinsic consideration of the E-commerce Policy and that all outcomes aim to educate and / or protect consumers
- to keep abreast of current / future issues and trends in relation to E-commerce, with a specific focus concerning the detriment of consumers
- to provide a voice for Trading Standards officers, by lobbying and working with Government Departments/Ministers, the European Commission and Industry, in both the Public and Private sectors. Thereby, ensuring Trading Standards is at the heart of decisions and projects that have a direct bearing on the ability of businesses and consumers to trade fairly and safely on the internet
- to build sound working relationships with internal and external stakeholders
- to be strategically involved in the communication and education of businesses and consumers
Our policy interests include payment systems, online marketing, business advice; third party liability, concerning electronic money providers, online marketplaces and intermediaries such as social media ; civil and criminal legislation that has a bearing on e-commerce.
Please note that CTSI also has a lead officer for E-crime. The attached table illustrates the division of responsibilities and areas of overlapping interest.
The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Payments) Regulations 2013
These Regulations implement various parts of the Consumer Rights Directive, including replacing the existing Distance Selling Regulations.
Notable changes that affect online sales are:
- the cancellation period is extended to 14 days
- the concept of "digital content" is introduced, as distinct from goods and services
- a consumer shall not be bound by an order unless during the online buying process any obligation to pay was explicitly and unambiguously brought to the consumer’s attention
- by the beginning of the buying process, a website must bring to the consumer’s attention any delivery restrictions which apply and which methods of payment are accepted
- consumers are not liable for payments which have been added onto the main product/service they contracted for unless they have given express consent (which does not include failing to change a default option such as a pre-ticked box)
- if cancelled goods are diminished by the consumer’s handling of them, an online trader can deduct an amount from the refund supplied to the consumer an optional model cancellation form for online sales has been introduced
- These new provisions are likely to be central to the E-commerce work of Trading Standards, in terms of advice and education to businesses and consumers and enforcement where necessary.
David MacKenzie and Paul Miloseski-Reid
Call: 0345 608 9509 / 0345 608 9549