EU boosts consumers' online shopping rights
Consumers throughout the European Union are soon to have the same rights in their online shopping as they do in stationary retail shopping. Negotiators of the European Parliament, the EU member states and the European Commission agreed in January on new rules aimed at making things easier for customers and dealers alike - above all for cross-border purchases.
For the first time, consumers have standardised rights in the purchase of digital content, be it downloading, streaming or music.
The following interactive graphic shows how many people in Denmark, the Czech Republic or Portugal make purchases, listen to music or stream videos online: http://dpaq.de/H6cbH
Among others, the new rules stipulate that a dealer, in the event of a non-functioning product, must either provide a replacement of equal value, repair it, or return the buyer's money. Consumers can invoke this right for at least two years. With digital contents that do not function properly, sellers initially will have the chance to solve the problem before the contract can be voided. Objects containing digital components - such as a refrigerator with smart functions or a TV set - must within a "reasonable time period" be upgraded to the latest software versions. This is meant to guarantee the safety of the equipment.
The agreement must be formally approved by the European Parliament and the individual member states before it can take effect.
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