Do we need an Internet Consumer Watchdog ? Discuss please.

8 replies
Found 23rd Jan 2008
With online retailers seemingly becoming more and more a law unto themselves what do HUKD members think about an Internet Consumer Watchdog ?

Example: hotukdeals.com/ite…749

Maybe members think that the present system of Trading Standards etc is enough.
I'm not convinced as I think there is too much of a grey area involved ?

8 Comments

There a already a lot of laws that cover 99% of the cases that happen over the internet. The consumer laws for internet sales are actually much better than the "High street" ones.

In the case of what WHSmith have done to you, I think that you are entitled to get one from another retailer and charge WHSmith the difference.

Even if you are on shaky ground, retailers will often cave in because it simply isn't worth their time on a protracted battle with a customer for the sake of a few pounds.

British customers will always 'roll over', and whilst they do this retailers will take advantage. No 'Watchdog' is going to help out with Public apathy.

I actually was watching that program watchdog last nite and they were complaining about marks & spencers online services.

Original Poster

thesaint;1491731

There a already a lot of laws that cover 99% of the cases that happen … There a already a lot of laws that cover 99% of the cases that happen over the internet. The consumer laws for internet sales are actually much better than the "High street" ones.In the case of what WHSmith have done to you, I think that you are entitled to get one from another retailer and charge WHSmith the difference.Even if you are on shaky ground, retailers will often cave in because it simply isn't worth their time on a protracted battle with a customer for the sake of a few pounds.British customers will always 'roll over', and whilst they do this retailers will take advantage. No 'Watchdog' is going to help out with Public apathy.



Well I know what you're saying in theory is true Saint but in practice I'm not sure that many of these consumer laws have even been tested online.

I should make one thing clear, although angry about the WH Smith episode I'm not fixated by it, too long in the tooth for that, lol.

One of the biggest beefs I have with Internet Shopping is that the front end is faceless. Online shopping when it runs smoothly is superb but when a problem is encountered it seems to be the majority of retailers just don't have the resources to deal with adequate Customer Services.

Take for instance 2 retailers I personally have had major problems with Zavvi and WH Smith. If i had had a problem with either of those retailers in the High St. I would most certainly have been able to resolve the problem and would be pretty confident of walking away satisfied.

This is just not the case online. It's faceless and if these companies don't want to answer webforms, emails and the phone then I am stuck in limbo. This has indeed been the case with both of them and to me it's riding roughshod over not only the customer but also Consumer law.

The only way I can see to reverse that situation is for there to be a Watchdog of some description to ensure the laws we do have are adhered to.
I don't think Trading Standards have the resources to cope with that scenario either.

Just my opinion of course

There are sufficent "watchdogs" already, what is needed is a faster and tighter focus on the internet sales. Alternatively a focus team in each "watchdog". There is no generalisation possible as to whether a shop or internet offers better protection. It all depends on the particulars of the transaction. The distance selling is a big plus but then again it apply to old fashion mail order as well. With internet sales you click on and agree to all sorts of terms of sale which you would not get when you go to a shop as no shop will ever make you read pages and pages of tiny print (in the case of simple and small transactions). In the area of cancellation you are unlikely to get cancelled at a real cashier as you do with internet sales.

hottoshop;1491852

The only way I can see to reverse that situation is for there to be a … The only way I can see to reverse that situation is for there to be a Watchdog of some description to ensure the laws we do have are adhered to.I don't think Trading Standards have the resources to cope with that scenario either.Just my opinion of course




The laws are not adhered to on the high street either. How many people take something back to "Computer World" and are told to contact the manufacturer as it's out of their hands.

If people don't want to test the current laws, I certainly don't want more brought in, that sounds like a "New labour" way of thinking.

I do believe that things like this need looking into, but like I said earlier, the internet is a safer bet as regards to laws.

Original Poster

thesaint;1491904

The laws are not adhered to on the high street either. How many people … The laws are not adhered to on the high street either. How many people take something back to "Computer World" and are told to contact the manufacturer as it's out of their hands.[COLOR="RoyalBlue"]Never have I experienced this although that's because they probably knew they wouldn't get away with it ![/COLOR]If people don't want to test the current laws, I certainly don't want more brought in, that sounds like a "New labour" way of thinking.[COLOR="royalblue"]Not sure I get that but at some stage all laws need to be tested.[/COLOR]I do believe that things like this need looking into, but like I said earlier, the internet is a safer bet as regards to laws.[COLOR="RoyalBlue"]Going to have to agree to differ on this bit. I honestly don't think so.[/COLOR]



Thanks for the input, appreciated ! :thumbsup:

I get addicted to this stuff, the Computer Active comsumer pages are interesting for this stuff, Distance Selling Regs in addition to your normal rights as a consumer, make for me a better place to buy....all retailers have bad service staff, sometimes it is down to training, sometimes it is an individual bad day...and PC World, renowned for fobbing off their obligations as the Supplier to Manufacturer, which makes the situation worse....in answer to the question, not more regulation, retailers just need to give better service, forums like this can be worthwhile for flagging bad retailers. Tuppeny worth of thoughts

Zavvi online has messed up an order and charged me for an item that was out of stock forever. Took about 3 months and 6 emails to get them to refund me the money. Also got a £10 voucher for my troubles :thumbsup: Result
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