Online store Grandado.com to inform consumers better about delivery times following ACM action
The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has spoken to electronics website Grandado.com about the information on its website. Consumers had filed complaints with ACM’s consumer information portal ACM ConsuWijzer about having received their orders much too late. In practice, delivery times were much longer than promised on the website. Grandado.com sells electronics and other products directly from China. That is why it can take a while before the products are delivered at consumers’ homes. ACM demanded of the online store to inform consumers correctly about delivery times so that they are able to take that information into account when placing orders. In addition, ACM’s action has led to the company also improving its customer service as well as the information about its return policy.
Edwin van Houten, Director of ACM’s Consumer Department, explains: “Consumers must be able to rely on the information that websites give, such as about delivery times. We take action against businesses that do not inform consumers correctly. We find it important that consumers, even in times like these, are able to buy online with confidence.”
Online stores must provide consumers clear and complete information
Grandado.com is an online store where consumers can buy various products such as electronic devices, gadgets, and tools. The company does not hold any stock in the Netherlands, and has products shipped directly from China. As a result thereof, Grandado has much longer delivery times than consumers who regularly shop online are accustomed to. The website said that average delivery times were 10-14 business days (2-3 weeks). ACM found that the average delivery time in practice was much longer than that. Grandado has already adjusted its information about delivery times, and now says that deliveries take up to 25-30 business days (5-6 weeks). And with delivery times increasing even further due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, Grandado informs consumers about this development as well.
If an online store is unable to deliver the order before the agreed upon delivery time, the consumer must be informed of that delay. In that case, the consumer has the right to cancel the purchase, and is entitled to a refund. The company must give the consumer a full refund immediately, if so requested. In addition, the consumer can cancel the online order within 14 days of the purchase. If the consumer exercises this right, they must be given a refund within 14 days. Granado has already clarified the information about these rights. ACM will continue to keep an eye on the website, for example, by monitoring the complaints filed with its consumer information portal ACM ConsuWijzer.
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 in order to solve the problems as quickly as possible. In other cases, ACM may, following an investigation, decide to impose fines or orders subject to periodic penalty payments.
The digital economy
The digital economy is one of the topics on the 2020-2021 ACM Agenda. ACM will thus devote special attention to problems that consumers face online. 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’, and in Dutch), consumers can assess the trustworthiness of online stores in advance.