The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has published its report
following the “web sweep” of 350 eCommerce retailers
it carried out with Trading Standards Services before Christmas.
The OFT concluded that most large UK-based online retailers are
complying with key consumer-protection requirements but that
there was plenty of room for improvement. Among its findings:
- 14 per cent of sites did not provide a physical address but
gave only a PO box number.
- 15 per cent appeared not to comply with the requirement to
give shoppers information on their right to cancel within seven
- 31 per cent appeared not to comply with the requirement to
refund the full cost of the goods, and of these, 56 per cent
excluded the cost of original delivery from refunds (though the
OFT does point out that a retailer can expect the customer to pay
the costs of return carriage and that customers should take
“reasonable care” of items whilst in their
- 40 per cent of sites did not warn customers of compulsory
additional charges until checkout.
Further information for businesses is available at