Problems of Electronic Commerce (online purchases) and where to claim
E-commerce -or electronic commerce- is a reality in our country. According to the Statista portal, only in the last quarter of last year, the total volume of e-commerce business in Spain stood at almost 17 million euros.
On these dates, when online purchases with commercial campaigns are multiplying, at reclaimer.es we have compiled the main problems that consumers may face when buying online.
- E-commerce: 5 common problems
- How to try to avoid these problems when buying online?
- Claims for problems in purchases on Spanish or European Union websites
- Problems on websites from non-EU countries
E-commerce: 5 common problems
Below we list 5 of the problems that consumers most frequently face when making an online purchase:
- Lost packages or packages that arrive outside the agreed period. In our blog article What to do if you do not receive an online purchase? We explain the main steps to follow in the face of this common problem in electronic commerce.
- Items that arrive defective or in poor condition.
- Fake web purchases that are made with our money and our personal data, but do not send the items. This is very common in social networks. Posts that attract attention with discounts "up to 90%" or "an iPhone for €150", which are actually scams that seek to keep users' money.
- Duplicate charges on the card and even theft of that card's data when making an online purchase due to the lack of a secure payment environment.
- Problems in the returns of online purchases. When making a remote purchase, the user can exercise their right of withdrawal, except in some very specific circumstances where it would be possible, for example, if a personalized calendar is ordered online.
How to try to avoid these problems when buying online?
To avoid the problems of electronic commerce, before making an online purchase we must:
- Check the company headquarters Spain, EU, China, USA? Claiming and defending rights will depend mainly on the location of the web.
- Before buying online, take a few minutes to read their return policies, shipping, etc.
- Verify that when we reach the payment screen we are in a secure web environment. A padlock symbol and “https” will appear.
- Avoid leaving personal data when using public Wi-Fi connections. These are usually very vulnerable and the theft of personal data is very simple.
- Look for opinions from other users, investigating the online reputation of that website on the Internet. This is essential on pages from third countries (USA, China, Canada...)
Do not trust web pages that request the PIN of the card to make the purchase. The usual thing is to enter the full number and the security number, never the PIN.
What to do with pages that are created to deceive the consumer, destined to pay for a purchase that will never arrive?
If we are on time, we must perform screenshots of the page to document our claim. When we become aware of fraud, we must file a complaint with the Police or Civil Guard.
These types of situations are common in second-hand sales. The buyer makes a deposit to the seller and the seller disappears. Here we must distinguish two circumstances:
- Y the sale was made on platforms that serve as economic intermediariessuch as Amazon. In this case, the claim must be addressed to Amazon and it will be the company that asks the seller for responsibilities.
- Y the sale was made through a non-economic intermediarythat is, it only puts the two parties in contact, like Wallapop. In this case, the buyer who has not received his purchase must file a complaint with the Police or Civil Guard, and will not be able to hold the platform accountable. Despite this, you will be able to inform the platform of the fraud so that it eliminates that user and cannot commit new fraud.
Claims for problems in purchases on Spanish or European Union websites
If we buy online in establishments based in Spain, the advisable thing to claim any problem is, first of all, send a letter to the address that must appear on the web. If that answer does not convince us, we can direct the claim to the Consumer Agency correspondent.
Depending on the problem we are facing, and as long as it is a company based in Spain, we could also initiate legal action to protect our rights as a consumer.
When we have made a purchase on a website based in one of the EU member countries, as users we can claim on the platform ODR of the European Consumer Center.
Problems on websites from non-EU countries
Affordable prices is one of the main reasons that lead us to buy on the website of China, the US, etc. Before purchasing any product, we must assess whether that low price compensates us with the future problems that we may face.
The drawbacks of electronic commerce In acquisitions on pages in China or the US, they do not only include the time it may take for the products to arrive.
If we have any problem, the claim must be made to the bodies designated by that countryor initiate legal action in said territory. Thus, it seems logical to think that the claim is much slower and more difficult.