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European Commission Calls for Clearer Online Pricing Information

Online shopping websites should be clearer on prices and discounts. Words by Adam Bernstein.

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Pricing needs to be clearer online for consumers
Pricing needs to be clearer online for consumers

The European Commission and national consumer protection authorities are calling for online shopping websites to give consumers clearer information on prices and discounts.

Read more: Adam Bernstein advises on how to boost sales

This comes after an EU-wide screening of 560 e-commerce sites revealed that 60% of websites assessed showed irregularities regarding compliance with EU consumer rules, particularly in relation to the advertisement of special offers.

Read more: Your guide to taxes

Consumer authorities found that for more than 31% of the websites offering discounts, the way the discounted price was calculated was unclear or there was suspicion regarding the authenticity of advertised offers:

  • On 211 websites, the final price at payment was higher than the initial price offered as 39% of those traders did not include proper information on extra unavoidable fees on delivery, payment methods, booking fees and other similar surcharges
  • On 59% of the 560 websites assessed, traders failed the obligation to provide an easily accessible link to the Online Dispute Resolution platform, which is obligatory under EU law.
  • On almost 30% of the websites, irregularities were found in relation to how information was presented about consumers’ right to withdrawal in contradiction with EU law.

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