Nobody adheres to the e-commerce law

A trip to Malaga, that seemed like Mrs. Van den Hoed from Rotterdam. No better way to orient yourself on such a trip than via the internet. She finds a number of interesting offers on Checkin International's website. She then reserves an eight-day flight with a charter flight. Van den Hoed does not receive the electronic booking confirmation by "pressing on the internet"

A trip to Malaga, that seemed like Mrs. Van den Hoed from Rotterdam. No better way to orient yourself on such a trip than via the internet. She finds a number of interesting offers on Checkin International's website. She then reserves an eight-day flight with a charter flight. Van den Hoed does not receive the electronic booking confirmation by "pressing on the internet". A few days later, Mrs Van den Hoed receives an invoice from Checkin. She did not expect that. It was not the intention to book the trip; she just wanted some information and thought she could reserve without obligation.

Nobody adheres to the law on distance selling. That was about a year ago the head above an interview with me in Emerce. The responses to the interview were not mild. Some Emerce readers felt misled by the headline of the interview. That criticism was justified. The piece was not about the new Distance Selling Act, but about the establishment of my SOLV office. Other readers completely disagreed with my statement. That criticism was unjustified. A month after publication of the interview, the Consumers' Association published an investigation showing exactly the same: the average internet retailer is ignoring the law.

That is not surprising. There is still a lot of ignorance about the relatively new law. In addition, the law does a little bit in its good intention to protect the consumer as much as possible against rash purchases. The seller must inform the consumer about anything and everything, including the applicability of the so-called cooling-off period. On this basis, the consumer is in most cases entitled to terminate the distance sale without giving any reason within seven working days after receipt of the item. If the consumer is wrongly not pointed out, the term is not seven days, but three months.

Among the angry reactions to the Emerce interview was Rejoh van der Voort from louis.nl, behind which the company MotoZoom hides. MotoZoom sells motorcycle items and accessories. According to Rejoh they would use a lifelong cooling-off period at MotoZoom. But look at the conditions of MotoZoom: "You can always return all unused items, after a week, a month, a year, etc. You just get the money back - you just have to return it in its original packaging. everything." That's wrong. Unused items, original packaging? these are not requirements that you may set by law. Those who want to walk around for free on leather shoes for three months, buy them at MotoZoom.

And how did it end with Mrs Van den Hoed? She lost her case. The cooling-off period does not apply to air travel, which takes place on a specific date. The judge might have come to a different opinion if the e-commerce law had already been adopted by parliament. This bill makes it mandatory for the consumer who places an order via the internet to send an order confirmation electronically. If this is neglected, for example by "busy on the internet", the consumer can dissolve the agreement according to the bill. That is an important new year. While normally an agreement is final after offer and acceptance, the requirement of the order confirmation will still affect the agreement after acceptance.

Apart from the order confirmation, the e-commerce law brings many new obligations for internet service providers, which are not always obvious. For example, the internet entrepreneur will have to mention his VAT number. An important difference with the law on distance selling is that the e-commerce law applies not only in b-to-c relations, but also to b-to-b. The Dutch government assumes that 60% of Dutch internet entrepreneurs will have to adjust their services as a result of the e-commerce law. I dare to add a few percent of that. According to the government, adjustment does not cost more than 350 euros per company. I can not imagine that the costs of legal advice are included in this?