EC publishing the results of an EU-wide screening of nearly 500 e-shops

The European Commission is publishing the results of an EU-wide screening (“sweep”) of nearly 500 e-shops selling clothing and footwear, furniture and household items, and electric appliances. This sweep was carried out by consumer protection authorities of 27 countries under the coordination of the Commission. The findings reveal that two-thirds of the screened websites do not comply with basic EU consumer rights.

Some of the key results of the screening include:

  • More than a quarter of the flagged websites did not inform consumers about how to withdraw from a contract. This must be presented in a clear and understandable manner, specifying the right to withdraw within 14 days of receiving the good without the need to give a justification. 

  • Nearly half of the flagged websites were not clear about the time-limit to return the item within 14 days from the moment they have notified the trader of their intention to withdraw. 

  • In over one fifth of the flagged websites, the price initially shown was incomplete as it did not contain delivery, postal or other possible additional charges or information about the possibility of such charges. 

  • Over a third of the flagged websites did not inform consumers about the minimum 2-year legal guarantee.

  • Even though EU law mandates traders to include an easily accessible link to the Online Dispute Resolution platform on their website, informing consumers on their possibilities in case of a dispute, nearly 45% of all the websites screened did not provide such a link.