Online shopping even more secure

Online shopping even more secure

In our country, electronic commerce continues to break records. According to official data, e-commerce was 15% higher in the first quarter of 2013 than the same period last year, which is reflected in a figure of 2,822 million euros. Among the sectors with the highest turnover are travel agencies, tour operators, air transport and direct marketing. However, one of the main problems for this growth to continue is the distrust of consumers.

Last October, the Council of Ministers approved the draft Law for the Defense of Consumers and Users that, among other measures, incorporates some novelties for the protection of citizens in transactions made through electronic commerce. This new legislation aims to fight against the lack of information, one of the points that gives rise to the greatest number of claims. New rights are also recognized, such as the form and the term in the delivery of goods or the coverage of the risk of loss or deterioration of the product.

Main novelties

Among other measures, the bill establishes that the final price of the product must be shown to the user before accepting the purchase in order to avoid the covert charges that some companies include users in the final bill. This is a practice that occurs especially in the purchase of airline tickets.

In addition, the extra costs that are usually attributed to the consumer related to the selected means of payment are restricted, from which the company should be held responsible. Thus, the expense will be restricted by paying the ticket with a credit card (Visa, MasterCard, etc.) or even debit, and must offer the alternative of paying through other systems such as the transfer, at no cost.

Also extends the term of return of any product purchased in electronic stores operating in Spain: it goes from 7 to 14 days. If the merchant had not informed the consumer correctly about these repayment terms, the period would be extended automatically up to 12 months.


Measures to increase security

In addition to protecting themselves in the legislation that protects electronic commercial transactions, users can also follow some tips to buy through the Internet with greater guarantees.

The first is to seek, before acquiring in a store for the first time, the opinions of other users who have previously purchased in the same establishment and comment on their experience and the resolution of conflicts they may have had.

It is also important to keep the browser updated. The latest versions of the most commonly used browsers have additional layers of protection, warn of possible phishing attacks or show the secure SSL certificate of the web page in the browser bar when sending the user’s personal data, such as the number of the card.

In the case of paying by credit or debit card, you must ensure that the electronic bank has some additional protections enabled, as have the most used cards (such as VISA or MasterCard), so that it is necessary to add a password additional or a PIN to validate the transaction.

In this sense, it is also recommended to use some intermediaries as means of payment, since they have additional guarantees if there are problems with the shipment of the product. PayPal has a claim platform in case of not receiving the item purchased, in which it is discussed with the seller. If you do not reach a solution, you can raise the claim to PayPal to recover the amount of the trade account.

Finally, if a website does not end up generating trust, or is bought in it for the first time, it is mandatory to read the conditions of use, its return policy, as well as the treatment given to the user’s personal data. When making the acquisition, it is essential to keep the copy of the purchase receipt or confirmation, which will be sent to our email address, and even print a hard copy.

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