Internet or distance sales companies: what they should know about consumption
We are all consumers at some point in our lives, since we buy things or contract services with companies or professionals. At such times, we want our rights as consumers to be respected.
Therefore, when our professional activity consists of selling or offering services from distance, it is convenient to know what ways we have to solve the conflicts that could arise with consumers and what things we have to take into account so that our business can boast of having exemplary behavior with consumers.
What do you know about consumption? You can check it by doing the self-assessment test of the Consumer Portal of the Community of Madrid.
I want to sell my products or offer my services through the internet. What information does my website need to have?
I want to sell my products or offer my services through the internet. What information does my website need to have?
La minimal information that must be offered to people who are going to buy or hire products or services on a web page, is usually located in the terms and conditions section of the site. Among other aspects (you can consult more information in the legislation) must contain the following:
about the entrepreneur
- Identity of the entrepreneur, including the commercial name.
- Complete address of the establishment.
- Phone number.
- Email address.
- If the address of the establishment is different from that of the company's registered office, you must also indicate the latter.
All these data must be given in order for the consumer or user to be able to contact and communicate with us quickly and efficiently, so they must be truthful.
About the products or services
- Our main features of the goods or services: an exact description of the items or services that we offer, with photos of sufficient quality, which allow us to appreciate the most important characteristics of the product.
Price and shipping costs
- The total price of the goods or services, including taxes and fees.
- If the price cannot be calculated in advance due to the nature of the goods or services, it is necessary to clearly indicate how the price is determined, as well as, where appropriate, all additional expenses de Services, delivery o Post and any other expenses or, if these expenses cannot be calculated in advance, the fact that it can be necessary pay these additional costs.
Methods of payment, delivery of products or execution of services
- Detailed procedures for payment, delivery and execution.
Date of delivery of the products or the execution of the services
- La date in which we undertake to deliver the goods or to execute the provision of services.
Return & Right of Withdrawal
- It is necessary to report the existence of right of withdrawal legal, which, in most cases, with the exceptions contemplated in the regulations, is a minimum of fourteen calendar days.
- Consumers and users must also be informed about how they can exercise the right of withdrawal (form on the web, email message, for example) and the period they have to do so.
- It is necessary to specify the system for processing the employer's claims (form through the web, email, among others).
- In companies with fiscal domicile in the Community of Madrid, it is necessary to report the existence of claim forms and where they can be obtained.
Once the consumer has made the purchase, or has contracted the service we offer, we have to confirm it, as soon as possible, on a durable medium (on paper, or by email, for example). We will include all the information we have mentioned above. And, together with the product, or once the service is finished, we will deliver the invoice, sending it to you on a durable medium (on paper or by email).
Alternative dispute resolution systems
If we have a problem with a consumer or user, it is best that we try to reach an agreement to resolve it, but if this is not possible, we can do so using one of the alternative dispute resolution systems between businessmen and consumers.
The European Union's online dispute resolution system (ODR Plattform)
El European Consumer Center in Spain (CEC) has been designated by the European Commission as the platform's contact point in Spain, providing assistance and support to anyone who requests it in submitting claims through said platform, which will provide a free point unique access to consumers and companies for the extrajudicial resolution of contractual disputes arising from sales contracts or provision of services entered into electronically.
Entrepreneurs, merchants and platforms or markets that offer their products or services electronically have the obligation to include on their website a clearly visible and easily accessible link to the platform: https://ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr/main/?event=main.home2.show
The platform will allow consumers and traders to submit complaints by filling in an electronic form available in all the official languages of the European Union, Norwegian and Icelandic, and will offer them the option to attach the relevant documents.
The CEC, as the contact point in Spain, will automatically send the claim to the competent national alternative resolution entity that the parties have agreed upon, and the parties are obliged to conclude the procedure within a period of ninety days.
Adherence to Confianza Online
online trust is a non-profit organization whose objective is to promote and encourage the use of electronic commerce based on good practices of companies when selling their products and services over the Internet, to increase the confidence of Internet users, both at the make purchases online as when browsing. The General Directorate of Commerce, Consumption and Services of the Community of Madrid has signed a agreement with this entity.
Among other advantages, joining Confianza Online implies that they will carry out an analysis of our website to verify that we comply with all legal requirements, and, if this is not the case, they will optimize it according to the evaluation contained in its code of ethics. They will also be responsible for processing and managing claims within an average period of 10 calendar days. More information on your website
What is consumer arbitration?
It is an out-of-court dispute resolution procedure between consumers and businessmen in which the two parties voluntarily agree to submit their dispute to the decision of an impartial and independent arbitration body. It is a procedure fast, price quotation y equitable.
How does it benefit me, as an entrepreneur, to be a member of the Consumer Arbitration System?
For companies and professionals, adherence to the Consumer Arbitration System is a adding value and a with that they offer to their clients, since it is a system extrajudicial y price quotation to resolve consumer disputes.
It provides peace of mind, stability and legal certainty to both the consumer and the merchant or entrepreneur, since the agreement reached is binding and mandatory for both parties. Is fast (90 calendar days from the date on which the complete and necessary documentation is received to process the procedure), it is not necessary to go to a lawyer and it is price quotation.
Who manages consumer arbitration?
It is managed through Consumer Arbitration Boards. In the Community of Madrid, it is the Regional Consumer Arbitration Board, although there are also local boards.
How does consumer arbitration work?
If we decide to adhere to the Consumer Arbitration System, every time a consumer requests to resolve a conflict through this system, we will have to agree to resolve it in this way. In the event that we are not adhered to, but a consumer requests to resolve an issue through arbitration, we may decide whether or not to accept it.
In any case, the consumer, first of all, will have to show that he has contacted us to try to find a solution so that the arbitration is accepted, and before the case reaches the hearing, the consumer authorities will carry out a mediation to try to reach an agreement.
In the event that the hearing is finally held, the agreement reached (award) is binding, that is, it is mandatory for both parties, and if it is not complied with, you can go to court to request enforcement of the award
More information on consumer arbitration.
How can I join the Consumer Arbitration System?
Joining is voluntary and free. It is not necessary to meet any specific requirement, just present the adhesion commitment, a procedure that can be carried out through Internet, or in person at the Regional Institute of Consumer Arbitration.
How do I let consumers know that I am a member?
When the corresponding Arbitration Board accepts your request to join the Consumer Arbitration System, it will send you the official logos of the affiliated establishment, which, from that moment on, you will be able to display in your establishment and also in your advertising. More information. Also, once the accession is formalized, we can request the digital badge to display it on our website. More information.
In other words, if I adhere to the Consumer Arbitration System and someone wants to solve a problem through this system, I have to accept it.
So is. Once the voluntary adherence has been made, if a consumer requests arbitration, they will have to accept the resolution of the problem through it.
Complying with consumer regulations and respecting consumer rights benefits us all, consumers and us, because our customers will be satisfied, they will come to consume at our online store, or to hire our services, and they will speak well of us. .
As an example, some good practices that we can follow are these:
- La advertising is binding, that is to say, that the characteristics and the photograph that we put on a product in the product sheet of the web must be true and not lead to error or confusion, since if they did not they could claim us for misleading advertising and force us to comply with the conditions offered. Therefore, it is very important to correctly review all the prices and characteristics of the products.
- Clients must be Well informed what is the price and what are they going to pay for an item they are going to buy or for a service they are going to hire before to pay it. For this reason, it is very important to inform about the prices in the product file, or in the advertising banners, or to deliver the budget before providing a service. The prices will always include taxes, in the case of budgets, we will break them down and put the final price. We will also report on shipping costs.
- consumers and users, except in the cases indicated by the regulationsHave fourteen calendar days to cancel a purchase, or a service contracted remotely, without having to give any explanation or justification.
- The shipping costs that they paid when the article was sent must also be returned to them, however, the expenses caused by the return of the article can be assumed as a commercial gesture, or we can pass it on to the consumer, always informing them of it.
- We have the obligation to always deliver to the consumer the purchase confirmation as well as the bill.
- La a of any article is three years, if it is second-hand it can be less, but never less than one year.
- It is necessary to inform consumers about how to exercise their rights on the Data Protection personal More information.
For further information
If you have questions about consumption, you can go to the business associations in your sector for help. and in the Consumer Portal You can always find useful and updated information to keep up to date on consumption.
If you want, you can read more information on the most important aspects that companies with physical establishments have to comply with
More information at e-commerce and distance sales in the Consumer Portal of the Community of Madrid.