Online firms 'should brush up on consumer law'

Firms that sell online should check to see whether they are engaging in unfair practices, a government agency has warned.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has launched what it calls a national "e-consumer protection strategy" to make sure that consumers are aware of their rights.

Research by the body has found that only a quarter of firms conducting business online are being fully compliant with existing consumer law.

In addition, British consumers are the most worried in Europe about shopping on the internet, with more than a third (37 per cent) wary of buying this way following an encounter with an online store.

One in seven claimed to have a bad experience when buying items through websites.

Barney Wyld, director of the OFT, said: "The UK has a vibrant internet economy, with strong online participation and generally high levels of trust.

"However the way we shop online is constantly changing and organisations protecting consumers need to be highly responsive to emerging or complex online shopping problems."

Published on: December 9, 2010

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