In the Office of Fair Trading’s (OFT) annual sweep of popular retail websites for compliance with consumer laws, it has found that, out of 156 websites reviewed, 62 may be in breach.
The OFT’s report shows that some websites are in breach of the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 and the Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002, including by:
1) failing to provide a contact email address on the website;
2) placing unreasonable restrictions on refunds;
3) placing additional charges on the consumer at checkout without warning, such as card surcharges; and
4) demanding that any returned goods must be in original packaging.
The OFT has requested that the retailers update their websites in time for Christmas. A failure to do so could lead to the OFT taking enforcement action which could result in a fine for the infringing retailer.