European Commission: 80% of online websites adhere to consumers’ rights


On 14 October, the European Commission presented the results from its sixth “sweep” on online retailers respecting consumers’ rights. It signaled significant improvements from its sweep in December 2012: 80% of the websites were complying with consumers’ rights compared to a little more than 50% in December 2012.

A sweep is an audit mechanism. These focus on a particular sector and check whether legislation on consumer protection is being applied. In this joint action, national authorities contact the non-compliant operators and assure that the operators will play according to the rules. If this has not been done in time, the operators will face penalties.

Since December 2012, 116 operators have modified their compliance with consumers’ rights. A number of 49 operators are still in proceedings of which 5 faced only minor violations whilst 2 websites have been shut down completely.

“This is great progress but I will continue to fight for improvements” Neven Mimica, the Commissioner for consumer policy, stated.

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