If you’re selling to Germany you need to be aware of a new Bamberg District Court ruling which makes it mandatory to display a phone number on your eBay listings (and probably also your website).
An retailer who had their email address and mail address specified in their eBay listings was taken to court by a competitor for not having a means by which they could be contacted within an hour or less. Apparently it’s anti-competitive, which (I guess) means that the competitor had invested in phone lines and customer support site and the seller who was sued hadn’t, thus lowering their overheads unfairly.
The ruling means, at least for the German market, that email and mailing address details combined with eBay My Messages isn’t sufficient contact information. Retailers must make direct communication methods available as well as fast electronic contact.
I’m still bemused by the number of eBay sellers and ecommerce websites who don’t display a telephone number. Countless times I’ve had customers phone me, sometimes for pre-sales questions which invariably have resulted in sales and on other occasions post-sales contacts which doubtless protected my feedback ratings.
Do you provide telephone contacts for your customers (and we’re not counting a pay as you go mobile permanently switched to answer phone!). Are you happy to talk to customers or do you force them down the email/webform route? One thing is certain and that is if you want to actively market to German consumers you need to make telephone contact available.
Many thanks to the guys at Create Your Template for the heads up on this story