Are you a secure home shopper?
When you buy goods by telephone, mail order, fax, over the Internet or through a television shopping channel, you have the same rights under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 as when buying from a shop.
You can diminish the security and privacy threat of shopping on the Internet by looking for companies that carry the admark or TrustUK logo, indicating that they follow a recognised code of good trading practice online.
The ‘admark’ icon on a website, e-mail, banner, popup or other online advertisement indicates that the corporation displaying it subscribes to the rule of the Committee of Advertising Practice, that advertising online should be ‘legal, decent, honest and truthful’.
Similarly, the TrustUK hallmark on a corporation’s website indicates that the company follows an accepted code of practice for fair trading, secure payment, privacy and protection of children during online shopping.
Secure Internet shopping
Follow these rules to reduce the likelihood of theft and other problems when you shop online:
Deal only with traders who have a business name, geographical address and landline phone number. Try to deal with well-established businesses with well-known names.
Look for a statement on the website indicating that the site is protected. This often takes the form of a secure site logo and a padlock system. If you cannot find one, do not deal with the company.
Print out the ‘Terms and Conditions’ on the company’s website and make sure what all security you have against tribulations that may occur.
If you buy from outside the European Union, you may have difficulty getting something done about undelivered, damaged or faulty goods (you may have less consumer protection, guarantees may be difficult to enforce, legal action against a foreign supplier may be expensive and difficult to pursue and electrical goods may be incompatible).
Check the delivery charges. If you buy outside the European Union, you may be liable for VAT, customs duty and other extra charges.
Never give out credit card niceties unless you are on a protected website; check the screen for a padlock system at the bottom of each page.
Print out and keep your order and its authentication in case of prospective disputes.
When you pay by credit card, check your statement instantaneously when it arrives and alert the credit card company at once of any incongruity.
Further, in order to minimise the opportunity for scam and theft, never send cash through the post, do not send details of your bank or credit card account by fax or e-mail, only give bank account and credit card details to companies that you know to be members of the Mail Order Trade Association (MOTA), The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) or TrustUK or other such associations.
For more information on:
- Your Rights
- Making Complaints
- An Example
- A long wait for mail-order goods