As described in this article, the European Parliament will make some important changes on consumer rights for internet shopping.
The most important points are:
- consumer has the right for withdraw within 2 weeks without any reason
- goods must be delivered within 30 days, otherwise the buyer can cancel his order
- trader is responsible for any damage or loss of the good during delivery
- consumers have to be informed from whom they are buying, exactly what they are buying and how much it will cost when shopping online or ordering from a catalogue
- no more 'hidden' costs anymore, the buyer has to know the total price before the sale is concluded
- returning costs must be clearly stated before the sale is finished (in case of a withdraw)
A few more, very important points in addition to the said above:
- if the trader does not comply with the information requirement, the consumer will not have to bear the costs
- if a seller fails to inform a consumer about the withdrawal right, the period for withdrawal will automatically be extended to one year
- digital goods (such as software, music, etc.) are exempted from the right of withdrawal
- if a consumer withdraw his order, the paid price must be refunded within 14 days
These new regulations are agreed at the moment by the European Parliament only, the acceptance of the Council is expected.
Thes means that these new regulations could be valid from the beginning of 2013 (maybe earlier).