New EU protections for buyers shopping from sellers overseas

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The European Commission has recently published details regarding new regulations it wants to see put into place to grease the wheels of ecommerce.

You can read more here, but in basic terms the European Commission doesn’t think that there is enough cross border trade with in the EU, pointing out that 37% of sellers trade within their own borders but only 12% will sell to someone in another country. It’s notable that, once again like VATMOSS, these measure apply to digital content.

From the various measures in the release, two jumped out to me, so I quote them verbatim:

“Consumers will benefit from a higher level of consumer protection, a wider choice of products at more competitive prices:

– Reversal of the burden of proof:For instance, if an Italian consumer discovers today that a product he/she purchased online more than 6 months ago is defective and asks the seller to repair or replace it, he/she may be asked to prove that this defect existed at the time of delivery. Under the proposed new rules, throughout the two-year guarantee period, the consumer will be able to ask for a remedy without having to prove that the defect existed at the time of delivery.

– Clear and specific rights for digital content: For instance, a consumer who downloads a game which is then not working properly may currently receive as compensation only a discount on downloading other games in the future. With the proposed directive, consumers will be able to request such problems to be fixed and, if this is not feasible or not done properly, to obtain a price reduction or terminate the contract and be fully reimbursed.”

The two measures combine something particularly interesting because it means that any buyer can claim within two years of purchase that something isn’t working or as described and expect a full refund.

5 Responses

  1. do they even think before attempting to implement this?

    lets apply it to, since i assume i’m the only hardcore gamer here, film instead of games.

    you download avatar, watch it, keep it for eighteen months, then discover theres a small scene about 37 minutes in which isnt completely correct.

    so you then demand James Cameron, Sigourney Weaver, the make-up girl and the clapperboard guy, the whole cast and crew, go back and re-film that scene for you?

    and if they refuse, or you dont like the re-make, you get the film half price?

    absolute bo**cks.

  2. Do these guy have nothing else to do, except make up unworkable rules. I have decided to trade with the Rest of World instead of European Countries. I am not sure if the European Commission ever want Europe to recover after the recession. Also I do not get as many rude and nasty email as I did when I sold to French, German and Italian buyers.
    Cannot wait for the In / Out EU Referendum.

  3. Rather than greasing the wheels of e-commerce, I suspect that what this will do is encourage small sellers to retreat into their own countries. It is certainly not an enticement to sell internationally.

  4. Yet another reason we’ll all be voting to leave the EU when Dave decides we can have our promised referendum.

    How is this going to help cross border trade exactly??

    They are expert at delivering sh*te aren’t they?

  5. So when you add more ‘protection’ for buyers, you’ll see a decrease in the percentage of sellers trading across borders. It’s not the buyers who are afraid to buy, the sellers can’t risk their online accounts to meet delivery deadlines. Why don’t they introduce faster and more secure international delivery directives?


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