New e-commerce EU directive coming soon.

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BrianSP

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This is insane.

Sniplet from posts


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  • Customers would get 14 days, instead of 7 days currently in most European countries, to return goods, with a further 14 days to send them back. Crucially, the merchant would have to give customers a full refund even before receiving the goods to ensure they're not damaged.
  • For any order over 40 euros, the merchant would have to offer free returns.
  • Merchants would have to offer shipping and free returns across all European countries.
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Idiotic New EU Law Could Choke E-Commerce Startups

This is outrageous in my opinion. A full refund before you as the merchant
have received the goods back?!?

And free returns? As if a brick and mortar business have to pay petrol and
tolls etc back when a customer returns something to them.

We need to fight this.
 

mneylon

Administrator
Staff member
There's also some language about obliging retailers to handle all EU currencies AND ship to ALL EU countries ..
 

MOH

New Member
Has anyone got a link to anything more information than the Yahoo story? As it's quoted, this law would probably kill half the ecommerce sites in Ireland.
 

mneylon

Administrator
Staff member
I'll see if I can dig up the actual source
Someone posted a link to a more detailed article from a French site over on the IIA LinkedIn group
 

MOH

New Member
OK, I've found some more. A couple of things struck me as odd about the story: there seems to be one main source regurgitated, and it's mostly US slanted (references to Zappo's, and costs expressed in $).

Assuming the directive in question is the new Consumer Rights Directive, at least some of the points in the original story appear to be completely false.
There's no suggestion of forcing business to ship throughout the EU. The requirement would be to make it clear to consumers what the delivery restrictions are before the customer places an order. That makes perfect sense - I'm sick of having to go through to the checkout to find out the business doesn't deliver to Ireland.

The business is not always responsible for the return costs of goods. "The consumer will thus only have to bear the
direct costs of returning a good if the trader has not agreed in the contract to bear it
or the price of the goods to be returned is more than EUR 40." Which to me reads that if there's nothing in the contract about return postage, the customer pays it. And also that the customer pays it if the goods cost more than €40. Though that seems an unnecessary second clause.

I'm basing this on the below:
http://www.eppgroup.eu/infocus/docs/110324consumers-background-info.pdf

Either I'm completely misunderstanding it, or there's a bit of scaremongering and linkbaiting going on out there.
Aside from the increase in the returns period to 14 days, there's nothing much I can see in there that I wouldn't expect most legit e-commerce sites to offer now.
 

BrianSP

New Member
Google Translate Is the link to the french text.
REPORT on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on consumer rights - A7-0038/2011

Amendment 29 Proposal for a directive Article 17 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 2

"The costs of return of the good(s) shall be borne by the trader unless stipulated otherwise in the contract."

and then later

"The consumer shall only be charged for the direct cost of returning the goods. He shall not be charged for that cost if the trader has agreed in the contract to bear it or the price of the goods to be returned is more than EUR 40."

I pretty much read that as "if the price is more than 40 euro, the trader has to pay"

No matter what, its a total mess.
 

MOH

New Member
That's the English text in full alright. That was a fun read, and I learned a new word - rescission ("in these rescissionary times ...")

Anway, yes, it looks like:
- for returns of goods over €40, the trader pays for the return. (The text in the media briefing link I posted in #5 earlier is actually wrong.). Under €40, the customer is liable, unless the trader has agreed to cover it. Also, that €40 is a maximum EU limit - individual countries may set a lower limit

- customers get 14 days to notify withdrawal. They then get 14 days to return the goods. They're to be refunded within 14 days of giving notice. But there is a mention of retailers being allowed inspect the goods.

- there's some confusion over countries - on page 73, section 11.2a says you must clearly display on your homepage any restrictions on delivery to EU states. But then page 87, section 22b allows customers to require delivery of goods to another member state. I'm assuming that's any states which you haven't said are restricted, otherwise the first bit is meaningless.

That's my take on it based on a quick skim through anyway.
 

MOH

New Member
The more I think about this, the selling into other countries bit just has to be misinterpreted.

The way it's being portrayed at the moment, I could live in Cyprus, order a TV online from Komplett or Peats, and pay whatever shipping they insist on. Then decide to return it, and get refunded for the entire original cost, plus the few hundred quid of the return. Notwithstanding that the only people who would actually order a TV from Ireland to Cyprus would be competitors trying to put you out of business. I can't see the law being applied that way.

Besides which, there's a get out - if you don't deliver the goods within 30 days, and then ignore the customer for another 7, the contract is void, and you have to refund the money within 14 days. There don't appear to be any penalties for this. So if someone did decide to make a massive cross border order and you thought there was a risk they'd return it, just ignore them. You now have a 51-day interest free loan.

It's the other aspects of the returns - having to pay the postage, and potentially having to refund before seeing the goods - that's the main worry.
 

link8r

New Member
Thats why I'm suggesting that we setup an body for online retailers only (yes I know there is an interent body) that represents e-tailers and their needs, which includes EU spam like this and also tackles fraud and the bank charges.

This is crazy and it won't wash. Europe keeps adopting a quasi-communist state to the market place, inline with French thinking and the opposite of US Open-Market policy. Its outrageous.
 

mneylon

Administrator
Staff member
Thats why I'm suggesting that we setup an body for online retailers only (yes I know there is an interent body) that represents e-tailers and their needs, which includes EU spam like this and also tackles fraud and the bank charges..
How is this "spam"?
This is crazy and it won't wash. Europe keeps adopting a quasi-communist state to the market place, inline with French thinking and the opposite of US Open-Market policy. Its outrageous.
"Europe"? You live in a European country and benefit from a lot of our "quasi-communist" initiatives
 
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