In this period when Internet purchases are experiencing an exponential increase, it is all the more important to ensure the reliability of an e-commerce site when it is not well known. At the European Consumer Center (CEC) France, we advise you to carry out some checks, in particular to consult the legal notices of the site and the general conditions of use. These sections are mandatory even if they are not always easy to discover, because they are often placed at the bottom of the home page.
« It is necessary to be able to find there in particular the precise name of the seller as well as his address, », Indicates a spokesperson for CEC France who calls for mistrust when this address is only a post office box. Likewise, according to the latter, the indication of an “intra-community VAT” number (the individual identification number assigned to companies subject to VAT and domiciled within the European Union), is to be sought. Choosing a merchant based in France or in Europe is indeed an advantage for consumers’ rights.
In addition, the doubt is put in case of very approximate French or lines riddled with spelling errors in the general conditions of sale or the legal notices. If a telephone number is indicated, preferably not surcharged, the CEC France advises to join it and to ask for additional information on the product or on the delivery conditions in order to get an idea of the seriousness of the seller … Note that the site AFNIC (www.afnic.fr) allows certain information to be collected on sites whose e-mail address ends in “fr”, such as who registered the site, when, their contacts, and so on.
In all cases, when paying, the site must be secure. To do this, the first signs of the web address that begin with “http” must become “https”, with an “s” for ” secure “. Another check: the appearance of a closed padlock next to the address.
Finally, you should know that for most Internet purchases in the European Union, there is a withdrawal period of fourteen days. However, this possibility does not apply to accommodation or transport services, digital content, software to download, personalized goods (engraved jewelry or photo albums for example) or even products unsealed by the consumer and not able to be returned, such as hygiene items.