Comprehensive audits ensure security when shopping
The online shop must immediately inform the consumer of the receipt of his order by e-mail.
Naveen Aricatt (LL.B, team accreditation key account and international)
explains why this criterion is important for you.
The online shop must provide continuously retrievable and clearly indicated identification of the Supplier at a location that is easy to find.
Naveen Aricatt (LL.B, team accreditation key account and international)
explains why this criterion is important for you.
Commercial law specialists certify over 40 individual criteria
The Trusted Shops quality criteria are based on national and European laws that are important for making purchases on the Internet. They take into account all rulings and stipulations by the consumer protection associations, in some cases even exceeding them.
Customers of certified Trusted Shops sellers are protected automatically. Infringements against data protection regulations, non-transparent prices, limitations to the right to cancellations or other risks are checked by Trusted Shops.
- 1 PRODUCT DESCRIPTION AND PRICE
- 1.1 The merchant will display prices clearly and unambi-guously (including whether prices include tax and delivery costs), and not give any misleading price indica-tion.
- 1.2 Details of shipping costs must contain the delivery and shipping costs for all countries that are supplied by the supplier, or the details for the calculation of these costs, so that the customers themselves can easily calculate the amount.
- 1.3 The merchant will provide a fair and adequate description / illustration of the product, sufficient to enable the customer to gain a reasonable understand-ing of the product and to make an informed buying decision before placing an order.
- 2 COMMUNICATION AND NOTIFICATION
- 2.1 The website will state the name and address of who it is owned and operated by. The geographic address at which the business is established will be given (a PO Box address is not sufficient): if a limited company, the full corporate name will be stated; if a sole trader or partnership, the name(s) of the proprietor(s) will be stated. If the merchant has VAT and company regis-tration numbers, these will be given. The merchant will, where it is displaying the ISIS/TS Trustmark, pro-vide details of ISIS/TS and how we may be contacted.
- 2.2 The merchant should provide consumers with clear information on website security and on how they han-dle consumer transactions and protect consumer in-formation. The merchant will notify the customer in advance of an order being placed how communication will be facilitated (e-mail and / or telephone facilities will be the minimum, and a valid email address must be provided at all times), its timeliness (how quickly responses will be made), how to correct input errors, the availability of services (e.g. office hours, public holidays) and provide all requisite contractual informa-tion in a designated language(s). The merchant should advise customers to print out, save or other-wise record relevant information about the transaction.
- 2.3 Before any order is placed, the merchant will state whether the contract with the consumer will be filed by the merchant (for example with a regulatory authority, which may not often be the case in the UK but may be necessary elsewhere in the European Union), be ac-cessible to the consumer, and the languages the con-tract may be concluded in. If the contract will not be so filed the merchant should make this clear.
- 2.4 The merchant will notify the consumer prior to purchase, the method of fulfilment and the delivery date and / or delivery time window. Each product web page of the online shop must specify the availability and the prospective dispatch and delivery time for the applicable product, unless this product can be delivered immediately.
- 3 TERMS, CANCELLATION AND WARRANTY
- 3.1 The merchant will disclose and make easily available before the transaction its terms and conditions for electronic transactions, the consumer’s right of with-drawal and how to exercise this right.
- 3.2 Clear guidelines will be given as to the terms of guarantees, e.g. will a product be replaced if faulty, or will it be sent to a service agent?
- 3.3 If the merchant has a returns and refunds policy that offers consumers more rights than they have under the law or this Code, they must also state that these rights will not affect the consumer's statutory rights.
- 4 ORDERING PROCESS AND TRUSTED SHOPS GUARANTEE
- 4.1 As a minimum, when the customer embarks upon the ordering process, it should be clear to them what steps, or at least how many steps, are required prior to completion of the ordering process.
- 4.2 If the merchant is selling to only one or a limited number of countries, this should be identified to the customer early in the ordering process, to avoid frustration.
- 4.3 The merchant will state their electronic payment or other electronic settlement practices.
- 4.4 If the merchant sells any goods which may not be sold to customers younger than any specified age, it shall apply an age control mechanism when such goods are purchased and shall not, to its knowledge, deliver goods to persons under age or provide inappropriate content to minors.
- 4.5 The merchant must offer the Trusted Shops Guaran-tee to all its customers in order to give the customer the possibility of insuring all payments made.
- 5 ACCEPTANCE OF ORDER, COSTS AND PAYMENT
- 5.1 The merchant should acknowledge an order immedi-ately via an automated process wherever possible.
- 5.2 The merchant will supply the customer with all order details: ideally this will show the total cost including taxes, duties and carriage; or, as a minimum will indi-cate the likely scale of any additional charges that may be incurred and a source(s) from which the con-sumer can find detailed information before processing an order.
- 5.3 The customer should not be required to calculate the total price.
- 6D ELIVERY AND RETURNS
- 6.1 Customers will be informed of their rights to reject products, refunds and / or replacements prior to purchase.
- 6.2 The right to cancel must not be restricted by placing onerous or unfair conditions on the consumer. In par-ticular, any arrangements that stipulate the following for the consumer shall be considered unacceptable:
- 6.2.1 any provision that impose the risk of losses or damages with regard to return transportation on the consumer;
- 6.2.2 any stipulation that the consumer must return the goods in their original packaging;
- 6.2.3 the requirement for the consumer to pay any administration or penalty fees for exercising the right to cancel.
- 7 PRIVACY AND SECURITY
- 7.1 Appropriate security measures must be used to protect customers’ private information, order details, credit card numbers and banking information, during transmission.
- 7.4 In any event the merchant must ensure at all times that their practice regarding the use of personal information is transparent to the customer (i.e. the consumer should be told what data is being collected, how, by whom, what for, and of their right to have such data kept up to date).
- 1PRODUCT AVAILABILITY AND PROPERTIES
- 1.1The merchant will only promote products that are available for sale. Any limits to product availability will be stated. In the event that stock may run out, the merchant will arrange for its timely removal from display. Unavailable products should be clearly marked as unavailable.
- 1.2Products displayed and offered for sale will be fit for their stated purpose, or where the purpose is not stated, for the purpose for which they might reasona-bly be used.
- 2Written information, terms and right of withdrawal
- 2.1 The merchant will disclose and make easily available during and after the transaction its terms and conditions for electronic transactions, the consumer’s right of withdrawal and how to exercise this right.
- 2.2. Unless the law permits otherwise or an exemption applies, the merchant must tell customers in writing that they have a 'cooling off' period during which they have the right to cancel - in the UK, where the required contractual information has been provided, this cooling off period is generally 7 working days after the day on which the goods have been received (although, for example, the parties may contract for a longer period). Across the EU Member States this period varies, and may be longer.
- 2.3. When a consumer cancels, unless the law permits otherwise, the merchant must reimburse them the cost of the goods / service plus any delivery charges incurred under the same contract within 30 days of the date of cancellation.
- 2.4. The merchant may only charge the customer for the cost of returning the goods if this was stated in the terms and conditions at the time of sale.
- 2.5 After a transaction, the specific applicable terms and conditions that applied at the time the contract was formed must remain available to the customer in a form that can be stored and reproduced.
- 3Guarantees, warranties and complaints
- 3.1 The merchant will ensure that a clear, easy to use and effective procedure is in place to enable a customer to notify the merchant of a fault and obtain a remedy if goods are faulty (for example, not reasonably fit for purpose, of unsatisfactory quality or do not match their description).
- 3.2 If goods are faulty, the merchant must offer the consumer a remedy in accordance with their statutory rights (i.e. a replacement, a repair, or a refund) or any other contractual warranty between the merchant and the customer.
- 3.3 If the complaint is made within a reasonable time, the merchant must not insist that the consumer seeks redress direct from the manufacturer under any guarantees or warranties but must allow the customers to use the aforementioned procedure to obtain a remedy.
- 3.4 Any errors in bills, receipts or payments must be corrected as soon as possible and in no more than 30 days of agreeing to do so. The merchant should not make any charge for complaint handling. Further information regarding defective goods and consumer remedies may be found at the Office of Fair Trading website, in their ‘Sale of Goods Act Hub’ (http://www.oft.gov.uk/business-advice/treating-customers-fairly/sogahome/ ).
- 3.5 Merchants should comply with any binding requirements within the territories from which the merchant is prepared to accept orders.
- 4Order handling
- 4.1 The merchant will put in place procedures to ensure that all orders are promptly processed.
- 4.2 Acceptance of an order should not be given by the merchant before positive confirmation to proceed is received from the customer (i.e. a clear match has been made between the customer's requirements and a tangible product, and the customer has confirmed their acceptance of price and delivery details). Positive confirmation to proceed is required from the customer before a transaction is processed.
- 4.3 All order information will be retained by the merchant for a period of not less than one year from the transaction date, and supplied to the customer on request, and will remain available during that period.
- 4.4 Each order will be allocated a unique identification number or code to enable tracking.
- 4.5 The merchant will take all reasonable steps to ensure that the customer is legally entitled to purchase the goods on offer.
- 4.6 If an ordered item is out of stock, the merchant should give the customer the option to cancel the order with a full refund, in a timely manner and before confirming the contract.
- 4.7 In the event that the merchant is fulfilling an order from outside their own territory, the merchant will ensure that it complies with all applicable law regarding such orders.
- 4.8 If the merchant provides information in more than one language, they should either be able to respond to queries and complaints in those languages, or clearly state prior to purchase that they cannot.
- 4.9 The merchant will deal promptly with proper returns or replacements of product. The merchant should ensure that any agreed replacement or refund is actioned without delay. The full cost of replacing damaged or faulty goods will fall on the merchant.
- 4.10 In the event of non-delivery it will fall to the merchant to prove receipt of goods by the consumer, therefore procedures should be in place to ensure product tracking exists to the final destination. Failing to prove delivery will place responsibility on the merchant to provide a replacement free-of-charge. The consumer cannot be made responsible for communicating with the carrier company about failed deliveries.
- 5Privacy and security
- 5.1 Merchants, and others responsible for administering e-commerce services must ensure that the way they compile and use personal information about consumers conforms to the EU data protection legislation (see http://ec.europa.eu/justice_home/fsj/privacy/index_en.htm and www.ico.gov.uk).
- 5.2 Appropriate security measures must be used to protect customers’ private information, order details, credit card numbers and banking information in storage. Further information is available from the Information Commissioner's Office (see www.ico.gov.uk) and the UK trade association for payments, APACS (see www.apacs.org.uk).
- 5.3 The merchant must ensure that personal data are accurate and up to date, and are only held for as long as needed and for the purpose it was collected. In particular, the law relating to obtaining such information from minors (i.e. a person under 18 years of age) should be strictly adhered to and best practice (for example compliance with the Direct Marketing Association Code of Practice) implemented- no information about a child under 12 years of age may be collected without the explicit verifiable consent of his / her parent or guardian, and no information about a child under the age of 14 may be disclosed to anyone else without the consent of their parent or guardian.
- 5.4 In any event the merchant must ensure at all times that their practice regarding the use of personal information is in accordance with applicable data protection laws.
- 5.5 Customer personal information should be kept no longer than is necessary.
- 5.6 It is acceptable, subject to compliance with the applicable data protection legislation, for the merchant to capture, exchange and store aggregated data on customers' use and preferences in respect of the merchant's e-commerce services (i.e. place "Cookies") without the customer's prior permission.
- 5.7 It is also acceptable for third party organisations and the merchant's agents, in association with the merchant, to capture aggregated data from the merchant's customers in a similar manner, provided that the purpose for such data collection remains the pursuit of better and more relevant customer service. Any information stored in this manner on the customer's computer will only be accessible on future visits by the customer.
- 5.8 The merchant will gain the customer’s informed permission before embarking on any more elaborate software or data installation on the customer's computer and every reasonable precaution will be taken to protect the customer’s computer from viruses.
- 6Public interest
- In the event of a dispute, merchants must be able to demonstrate that they have complied with the Code by submitting documentary evidence without delay when required to do so by ISIS. The adequacy of evidence will be judged on whether it supports the detailed claims, on the way in which electronic transactions are administered and on the overall impression created by the e-commerce service.
- 7.1 Merchants have primary responsibility for ensuring that what they do is legal.
- 7.2 E-commerce services should contain nothing that breaks the law or incites anyone to break it, and should omit nothing that the law requires. Information about EU legal requirements is available at the EU website, Europa: http://europa.eu/ .Information about UK legal requirements is available from the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (formerly the DTI) website: www.berr.gov.uk, or your local trading standards service: http://www.tradingstandards.gov.uk.
- 7.3 Merchants will respect the Intellectual Property Rights of creators and providers of copyrighted materials, information and other intellectual works.
- 8.1 No e-commerce service should mislead by inaccuracy, ambiguity, exaggeration, omission or otherwise.
- 8.2 Warnings will be given regarding material that may be unsuitable or inappropriate for children or other consumers. E-commerce services should not cause offence.
- 8.3 Where applicable, geographical or personal restrictions should be stated, including whether permission is needed from an adult or any other factor likely to influence consumers' decisions or understanding about the offer.
- 1UNAVAILABLE PRODUCTS, ADVERTISEMENTS
- 1.1It is acceptable to display unavailable products when the merchant considers it in their customers' interests to do so, for example, to maintain consistency with the merchant's other catalogues (e.g. in print). Under these circumstances the merchant should also en-deavour to make it difficult for the customer to order these unavailable products by mistake.
- 1.2If the merchant and customer are using different currencies, wherever possible, the customer will be able to see a display of the estimated cost in their lo-cal currency.
- 1.3In the event that the merchant is fulfilling an order from outside their own territory, the merchant will endeavour to meet the reasonable expectations of the customer in terms of levels of consumer protection.
- 1.4The merchant should endeavour to ensure that their advertisements and sales promotions are considerate to the sensibilities and expectations of consumers within the territories from which the merchant is prepared to accept orders.
- 1.5Merchants should make best efforts to comply with whatever accepted non-binding codes of advertising practice are in use within the territories from which the merchant is prepared to accept orders and segregate their customers accordingly.
- 1.6Merchants should make best efforts to meet the reasonable expectations of their customers when determining delivery times, and fulfil orders within 7 days unless customers have consented to a different arrangement or are given an opportunity to recover any money paid. Merchants should, to their best ability, keep customers reasonably informed of any failure to meet an expected delivery time.
- 1.7Merchants should be aware of the various consumer protection provisions that apply to their supply of goods and services. Merchants should specifically be aware of the EU Distance Selling Regulations and, where applicable, allow no-fault return of most types of goods within the appropriate 'cooling off' period (para 7.2.c refers). Further guidance is available from: www.dti.gov.uk/consumers/buying-selling/distance-selling/index.html
- 2CONSUMER INFORMATION - COLLECTION AND USE, OPT-IN PRINCIPLE
- 2.1The merchant must take the confidentiality of personal data seriously.
- 2.2Particular attention should be paid to the Payments Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCIDSS) which could affect the merchant's ability to take card payments.
- 2.3If the merchant proposes to provide personal information about a customer to third parties, or use such data itself, for direct marketing purposes, ISIS/TS recommends that the customer should be given the option to opt-in as opposed to the option to opt-out (although 'opt-out' may in certain circumstances be acceptable). The customer would therefore specifically consent to the inclusion of their information in such a provision.
- 3.1There are more than 10 million disabled people in the UK with a combined spending power of £80 billion per annum (source: Department for Work and Pensions). Since 1999, the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) has placed a legal duty on service providers to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that disabled people are able to access services, including services provided via the web. Although the DDA has now been repealed and was replaced by the Equality Act 2010 (EqA) on 1 October 2010, this legal duty to make reasonable adjustments still exists in the same way as it did under the DDA.
- 3.2To meet all legal requirements, as well as implement-ing best practice, it is recommended that merchants comply with the following:
- 3.2.1Publicly Available Specification 78: Guide to Good Practice in Commissioning Accessible Websites (PAS 78) provides guidance on ensuring that websites are usable by disabled people. PAS 78 is available free of charge from www.equalityhumanrights.com/footer /accessibility-statement/general-web-accessibility-guidance/
- 3.2.2Accessibility + Inclusivity + User Preferences + DDA: To meet communication needs, personal preferences and the requirement to make reasonable adjustments under the EqA, IMRG recommends compliance with the W3C guidelines (which can be found at accessibility best practice guide can be found at http://www.w3.org/TR /WCAG20/) and the British Standards Institution web acces sibility guidance BS 8878 (available at http://shop.bsigroup.com/en/ProductDetail/?pid=000000000030180388).
- 4.1Merchants should make every effort to ensure that unsuitable or inappropriate material does not reach consumers.
- 4.2Caveats such as 'subject to availability' do not relieve merchants of the obligation to take all reasonable steps to avoid disappointing consumers.
- Merchants should not abuse consumers' trust or exploit their lack of knowledge or experience.
- E-commerce services should be conducted under management supervision and resources should be made available to ensure their efficient administration at all times. High standards of customer service and minimal cause for complaints should be the rudiments of e-retailing for both suppliers and intermediaries.
- 7SITE PERFORMANCE AND DISASTER RECOVERY
- 7.1E-retailing services should be easy to use and designed to facilitate ease of navigation. Merchants should optimise their service performance criteria. For example, the optimum web screen arrival time is 20 seconds is completely unacceptable in normal conditions.
- 7.2Merchants should endeavour to ensure that, other than during agreed scheduled maintenance periods, their site is available for use a minimum of 99.9% of the time. Measured on a monthly basis, this equates to a maximum of 43 minutes downtime per month.
- 7.3Customers' orders should be acknowledged electronically on receipt and be responded to within no more than one working day.
- 7.4Merchants should ensure their computer clocks are accurate ( < 3 seconds is recommended ) and that all of their communications are properly timestamped.
- Merchants should have Disaster Recovery plans in place and make all relevant personnel aware of them.
- Merchants should ensure they have suitable commercial insurance cover for their e-commerce activities.
Awarded: how online shops get the Seal of Approval.
When an online seller registers with Trusted Shops, an individual assessment report is created for their shop, for which all quality criteria are assessed.
Buying online? Yes, sure!
Only when our quality requirements are fulfilled is the Trusted Shops Seal of Approval including Buyer Protection technically integrated by the online seller.
Trustmark: how you can verify authenticity