Checklist for consumers before ordering

Updated: 1/9/2015

Before responding to an advertisement make sure you have done the following: 
  • Check who you are dealing with: go to the company’s official website and see if you can find the company’s name and full contact details, including postal address and e-mail address.
  • Check where the company is based, do not assume that a website is based in the country indicated by the domain name. Your rights and ECC-Net’s ability to help you if something goes wrong depends on where the company is based. Keep in mind that if you shop from websites based outside the EU, Norway and Iceland, your European consumer rights will not necessarily apply and you may face unexpected customs and tax fees.
  • Read the company’s terms and conditions. If they are not visible on the advertisement you should go to the company’s website and see if you can find them there. Keep a copy of the terms and conditions. If you cannot find the terms and conditions, do not agree to what is being offered.

When reading the terms and conditions you should especially look out for:

  1. Information about your rights to withdraw from the contract.
  2. Information about the company’s cancellation and return policy.
  3. Read the small print! Make sure you are not inadvertently agreeing to a subscription.
  • It is always a good idea to research the background of the company before agreeing to what is being offered. A simple Internet search can reveal any negative feedback about the company left by other consumers. Be aware that positive feedback is not a guarantee that you will not encounter problems.
  • Make a screenshot of the advertisement and each step of the order process and save the terms and conditions with the special offer in order to keep a record of what you agreed to.
  • Paying using bank/credit card may give you additional protection depending on your contract with the bank/credit card company and the legislation in your country.
  • Make sure you use a secure website to enter bank/credit card information. Look for a closed padlock symbol in the bottom right of the browser window and for the website address to begin with “https://”.
  • Use common sense! Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.