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2016年歐盟新消費者權益指令將如何影響您EU Consumer Rights Directive 2014 – How It Affects You

    
    自2014年6月13日開始,新的《消費者權益指令》已在歐盟範圍內實施,其中涉及到消費者在電子商務領域的退貨權益。
    根據新規,只要在歐洲境內,無論是在何時、何地,無論是在網上還是門店,消費者的權益都將因新指令而得到進一步加強。商業企業也將獲益,因為新指令創造了公平競爭的環境,貿易商跨境為消費者提供產品和服務的成本降低。為確保新指令在歐盟境內得到一致的實施,歐委會同時對成員國發佈指南檔。新生效的指令主要有以下九個變化:1)終止網路消費中的隱性收費和付出;2)增加價格透明度;3)禁止線上銷售中賣家事先勾畫附加銷售項目;4)無條件退貨從7天延長至14天;5)退貨後14天內商家將款項退還消費者並承擔運費;6)為方便消費者,歐盟範圍內採用統一的退貨單;7)終止對使用信用卡和熱線支付的附加收費;8)商家若希望消費者支付退貨產生的運費,必須事先清晰地告知消費則;9)強化對消費者數位產品的權益保護。
歐盟《消費者權益指令》的退貨新規還適用於其他形式的遠端銷售,如電話銷售和郵購。但是該法規不適用於訂票、酒店預訂、食品及飲料供應的退貨服務。此外,諸如個人出售的商品或緊急修理、維護服務等也不受該法規的保護。
    根據規定,遠端零售商需在貨物售出前就明碼標識所出售貨物的成本,包括所有額外費用。如果消費者沒有以適當形式被告知其應享有的退貨權力,那麼消費者在一年內都可以取消訂貨。如果賣家想要消費者承擔退貨運費,而沒有清晰告知消費者應享有的權益時,根據法規,零售商將承擔退貨費用。

  The new EU consumer Rights Directive comes into effect from June 13th 2014.
It’s purpose – i) to regulate distance selling across the European Union so consumers have the same rights across all 28 member states and ii) to encourage growth and consumer confidence when buying across borders.
  The Directive gives the cancellation rights and responsibilities for both traders and consumers where goods and services are purchased at a distance or off-premises.  The Directive clarifies the contractual obligations between the seller and purchaser and gives increased rights to the consumer when purchasing digital downloads.
  There are many changes in the EU Consumer Rights Directive – we have highlighted just a few of the main points in this blog, as there are too many to cover.  However the full Directive can be downloaded here.
1. Confirm Order Buttons have to make it clear that the consumer is entering into a contract with a payment obligation.  The regulation suggests that a final button should read “Order with obligation to pay”.  Order Confirmation needs to be sent to the customer via a ‘durable medium’ .  An email does count as such.
2. The ‘Right to Cancel’ period has been extended from 7 days after receipt of the goods to 14 days.  This brings the UK in line with most other European countries.
3. Refunds – The retailer now only has 14 days in order to return funds to a customer (instead of the current 30 days).  The refund period starts when the retailer has received the goods or a cancellation form.
4. Cancellation Forms – Now the retailer needs to provide a downloadable cancellation form.  A link to a standardised form needs to be offered to customers.    The regulation supplies a new model cancellation form which is reproduced here.
5. Partial Refunds can be made by the retailer on the value of goods which has diminished as a result of unreasonable care by the customer.
6. Clarity On Return Charges – Retailers need to make it clear before a sale who is responsible for the cost of returning goods, and give an estimate of the cost of returning the good.  If it is not clear, the seller will be responsible for the cost.  For information – up until now, the retailer has had to cover the cost of shipping and returns to German customers – this is now no longer the case.
7. Total Cost of Goods to be made clear at the point of sale – including all taxes, duties and shopping costs.  The customer will not be liable for extra fees if they were not informed of them during the check-out process.
8. No Automatically Ticked Boxes for Optional Extras – Boxes throughout the purchase process cannot be pre-ticked.  This includes all marketing communication opt-ins and additional services.
9. Premium Numbers  are no longer allowed.  Telephone numbers need to be free or standard-rated.  Although technical helplines for after-sales assistance can still be premium rated.
As always it is important to understand how legislation affects your online shop.  Make sure you update your website and especially where wording has to be more explicit.  Make sure the detail in your T & Cs is also updated.
  These changes have been bought in to hopefully facilitate cross-border trade and increase consumer confidence which should ultimately impact positively on your international sales.

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