The legal challenges involved facing global e-commerce
There are several legal issues to be aware of when doing online business. These directives and laws are different depending on states and cities; but it should be carefully taken into consideration. In this article, we’ll explain some legal obligations that a merchant should comply to avoid problems and costly mistakes.
Consumer rights and laws
Many sellers think that the Internet is a way to avoid rules and laws. This assumption turned out to be wrong because each merchant, operating in the EU for example, will be subjects to consumer protection legislation, this guarantees to each one to be treated fairly.
These laws guarantee consumers products that meet quality standards and a right of recourse if something goes wrong. It covers also unfair commercial practices and consumer contract law, for example misleading advertising.
Indeed, the e-commerce regulations demand that specified information should be available to the customer before they complete their purchase. This information concerns pieces’ information about the company:
- Business name;
- Company registration number;
- VAT number;
- Geographical address.
Selling services or products on the Internet require transparency and therefore website should state all pricing information. As:
- Price of goods or services;
- Description of goods or services;
- Payment and delivery terms.
And, if you are offering loans or credit facilities on your website, you are being put through the “Consumer Credit Act” which controls the type of agreement done with your consumers.
Several requirements should be met in the terms and conditions of the website. Such as, delivery information. In which, customers need to read it carefully before placing an order.
Merchant can also specify in this condition, his offer if customer wants to substitute the goods in cases where those ordered not available.
But the problem is that customers rarely read it. To correct this, we can find on several ecommerce websites, a checkbox with the text “I agree to the Terms and Conditions”. Only after checking this box order can proceed.
So, it is important to including a Terms and Conditions section on the website, it is a legally binding agreement between the merchant and customers using the website.
But, there are many others pieces of legislation that concern the selling of goods and services online. Some of this may not be suitable to your business, so always take advice from a legal practitioner if you are in doubt.
Also, taking the time to set up and organize your ecommerce business correctly will pay dividends almost immediately and save you time and energy as you build and grow your ecommerce site business.