Renewal at online

A new EU consumer protection guideline is intended to help consumers to better understand contract conclusions when shopping online.

Hannover (dpa) – In the future, online retailers will provide more information for consumers. This is the goal of a new EU consumer protection guideline. From the end of May, sellers will have to disclose certain information on online platforms that they have previously refused. Among other things, the presentation of offers and their prices should be communicated more clearly, as the Lower Saxony Consumer Center reports.

Shopping on the Internet: EU directive provides more transparency to seller

Market places and platforms on which consumers conclude contracts with third parties must state whether a company or a private individual sells something. Because with a private sale there is no right of withdrawal and as a rule there is no guarantee.

Booking and comparison portals also have to explain whether you take on certain tasks for the providers you list, for example in rental cars. This is important, because otherwise it may not be clear who is responsible for problems and questions.

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Shopping on the Internet: dealers must show personalized prices more clearly

Dealers and marketplaces have to specify if they display consumers personalized prices. So prices that are tailored to a person using personal data or characteristics by an algorithm.

Attention, do not confuse: This new regulation does not apply to so -called dynamic prices that fluctuate more or less violently over time, but apply equally to every1. Dynamic prices explain the consumer advice centers in their fictional online shop “Wasistdeinpreis.de”.

Shopping on the Internet: comparison portals must adhere to these requirements from now on

Comparison portals must use a list to identify which providers have been included in the comparison. This is intended to prevent the impression that the entire market has been depicted in comparison. One problem remains: Consumers need to know other important providers in order to be able to take them into account in their search, the consumer advocates complain.

The portals now also have to explain how their results list come about. In an extra information area, which main parameters are taken into account in the creation and how strongly they influence the overall result. This can be the number of calls, ratings or the number of sales, but also commissions and fees (more about digital at consumer protection).

Shopping on the Internet: Consumer advocates warn of fake customer reviews

Shops or portals have to explain whether you take measures that ensure that ratings only come from customers who really bought or book the respective product or the respective service. And you have to explain what these measures look like.

From the point of view of consumer advocates, too, the provider is not obliged to introduce measures to combat fake reviews. Stricter rules are desirable because reviews were an important source of information when shopping online, but are often manipulated or fake.

Attention: Except for the new information obligations for online trading are contracts for financial services such as loans, insurance and pension scheme for individuals.