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ACM compels two Dutch daily-deal websites to make adjustments to their operations

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has compelled two Dutch websites with daily deals, and, to make adjustments to their operations. The owner of these websites has implemented all the necessary adjustments. Consumers whose orders were not delivered have been refunded the full purchase amount. Consumers who take advantage of the cooling-off period will now be refunded within the statutory term limit of 14 days. The owner of the websites has also improved the customer service and complaint management. ACM will continue to monitor these websites closely, for example on the basis of indications received by ACM’s consumer information portal, ACM ConsuWijzer.

Edwin van Houten, Director of ACM’s Consumer Department, explains: “Online stores that sell to consumers must comply with various rules. ACM takes action against businesses that do not stick to these rules. We think it is important that consumers are able to make online purchases with confidence.”

Rules for online stores

If online stores are unable to deliver a product before the agreed delivery deadline, they must inform consumers thereof. Consumers then have the right to cancel the purchase, and are entitled to a refund. The business must reimburse consumers immediately. In addition, consumers are entitled to cancel their online purchases within 14 days after the day of receiving their purchase. Consumers who exercise this right must be refunded the full amount of the order within 14 days. and had failed to comply with these rules for the past couple of months. Consumers who were owed money have been reimbursed by now. Some consumers had to be reimbursed several hundreds of euros. ACM will continue to monitor whether the business complies with the rules.

Swift approach to consumer problems

ACM has many different instruments at its disposal for solving consumer problems. In this case, ACM prefers to call the company to account instead of imposing fines, because the problems are solved more quickly in this way. In other cases, ACM may, following an investigation, decide to impose fines or orders subject to periodic penalty payments.

The digital economy

On ACM’s consumer information portal, ACM ConsuWijzer, consumers can find information about their rights regarding online purchases. With ACM ConsuWijzer’s checklist for safe shopping (Online Shopscan), consumers can assess the trustworthiness of online stores in advance. In addition, it is always recommended to pay afterwards or insured (using a credit card, for example). The digital economy is one of the topics on the 2020-2021 ACM Agenda. Therefore, ACM will devote special attention to problems that consumers face online.