The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has requested online store Lef Living to add more information to its German website so that German consumers are better informed about shipping costs, among other aspects. ACM took this enforcement action at the request of the German consumer authority. It had contacted ACM because Lef Living is officially registered in the Netherlands, and because its German website did not comply with online selling regulations.
Lef Living sells (mostly online) furniture and home accessories to consumers in various European countries. It uses the website www.wonenmetlef.nl for Dutch customers. And it uses https://www.lefliving.de for its German customers. The German consumer authority established several violations on the latter website, including:
- The information about shipping costs that German customers had to pay when ordering products was unclear;
- Moreover, this information was presented too late in the ordering process, thereby preventing consumers from taking that information into account earlier in their purchase decisions;
- The information in the model withdrawal form was incomplete. This form contains information that businesses are required to provide on their consumer websites.
Cooperation within Europe
Consumers purchase products and services more and more often abroad, particularly online. Online selling regulations apply across the entire European Union, so that consumers are protected everywhere in a uniform manner. European consumer authorities work together in order to be able to deal with businesses that do not comply with the rules. Consumer authorities in other countries can ask ACM for help if a business that is officially registered in the Netherlands harms consumers in their jurisdictions. ACM is required to accommodate such requests.