Commercial information to be provided to the e-shop customer

Service

Sellers concluding distance or off-premises contracts are required to provide their customers with commercial information, which results directly from the relatively new act on consumer rights. The legislator enumerated the issues that the entrepreneur must absolutely inform the client about on his website, otherwise he may face the consequences specified by law. What commercial information, according to the Act, should be provided to the customer of the online store? How to formally fulfill this obligation?

What information should be provided to the customer of the e-shop?

Every retailer selling over the internet probably knows what commercial information he should provide to consumers. Since December 2014, when the Act on Consumer Rights entered into force, the catalog of issues that should be provided to the consumer has significantly expanded. These activities are primarily aimed at protecting consumers as the weaker party to the transaction.

Pursuant to the Act, the entrepreneur should provide the buyer with commercial information at the latest when the consumer expresses his will to be bound by the contract. Therefore, when the consumer clearly declares his willingness to buy, he should be informed in a clear and comprehensible manner about the details of the purchase.

Below, we list commercial information that the seller of the online store should provide to consumers when making a purchase. The trader is obliged to inform the consumer in a clear and understandable way about:

1) the main features of the benefit

2) your identifying data

3) company address, e-mail address and telephone or fax numbers

4) the address at which the consumer may submit complaints, if different from the address referred to in point 3

5) the total price or remuneration for the service, including taxes

6) costs of using the means of distance communication

7) method and date of payment

8) the manner and date of performance

9) the manner and time limit for exercising the right to withdraw from the contract

10) costs of returning items in the event of withdrawal from the contract

11) the consumer's obligation to pay reasonable costs incurred by the entrepreneur

13) the entrepreneur's obligation to deliver goods without defects

14) the existence and content of guarantees and after-sales services and the manner of their implementation

15) code of good practice

16) the duration of the contract or the manner and conditions for termination of the contract

17) the minimum duration of the consumer's obligations under the contract

18) the amount and method of deposit or other financial guarantees, which the consumer is obliged to fulfill at the request of the entrepreneur

19) functionality of digital content and technical measures to protect them

20) significant interoperability of digital content with computer hardware and software, about which the entrepreneur knows or should know

21) the possibility of using extrajudicial means of dealing with complaints and redress as well as the rules of access to these procedures.

The seller via the Internet is obliged to provide the customer with information about the main features of the concluded transaction, first of all, he should define the subject of the service and the manner in which he intends to communicate with the consumer. Each time the features of the service are determined depending on the offered assortment of the store. It is worth emphasizing, however, that the subject of sale may not only be goods (e.g. clothing, electronic equipment), but also services (e.g. telephone subscription). Features of the benefit and details of the seller

In order to meet the information obligation regarding communication with the customer, the seller may provide an e-mail address and telephone / fax numbers at which the consumer can contact the trader quickly and efficiently.

The buyer should also be informed about the seller's identification data, in particular about:

  • company name,

  • NIP (tax identification number) or entry number in the National Court Register,

  • company address.

Commercial information regarding complaints

If the seller of the online store accepts complaints at an address other than the main address of the registered office, he is obliged to provide it to the consumer. It may be a different address of the entrepreneur or the address of the service point or external company that deals with it.

Attention!

Currently, the liability under the warranty applies. This institution differs from the complaint in that it is regulated in the Civil Code (Articles 556-576). A complaint, on the other hand, is only a common phrase and is not legally regulated.

Information on the total purchase price

One of the main requirements of the Act on consumer rights is to provide the total price or remuneration for the service, including taxes, especially VAT, and possible excise duty. If, due to the nature of the sale, it is not possible to calculate them in advance, the seller should specify how they will be calculated.

Example 1.

When buying strawberries, it is not possible to calculate the price of one strawberry, only the total price for a certain weight.

The customer must also provide the amount of fees for transport, delivery, postal services and the amount of other costs, and if the amount cannot be determined, the information about the obligation to pay them is provided. If the contract is concluded for an indefinite period or includes a subscription, the entrepreneur is obliged to provide the total price or remuneration including all payments for the settlement period, and if the contract provides for a fixed rate also the total monthly payments.

Sellers should provide customers with the total cost of the purchase in a summary form, regardless of whether or not they had the opportunity to see all fees as they were making purchases. If the obligation is not fulfilled, i.e. the customer is not informed about all possible additional costs, then he is released from paying them.

Information on communication costs

If the costs of communicating with the seller exceed their standard amount, in accordance with Art. 12 point 6 of the Act on consumer rights, the consumer should be informed about it. Thus, this provision applies to a situation where a special helpline is activated and a consumer who wants to contact the seller will incur a higher cost than for a standard telephone connection.

Indication of the method and date of payment

This is no surprise - the consumer should be informed by the seller about the deadline for making the payment for the purchase and what options he has to do so (traditional transfer, online payment or cash on delivery). In addition, the seller of the e-shop, when finalizing the order by the consumer, should obtain a confirmation of the payment method chosen by the buyer and emphasize when it is to be made.

Attention!

All possible forms of payment should be described in the regulations of the online store.

Information on the form of delivery and the complaint procedure

The seller is also obligatory to inform about the method and date on which he will fulfill the service, which depends mainly on the subject of sale. In the case of delivery of goods, it will of course be an indication of the form of shipment (whether it will be a registered letter or, for example, a courier package). In practice, consumers often have a choice of several of them (Poczta Polska, courier), which involves appropriate fees.

There can be many more details of the contract implementation. Commercial information should then describe the next dates of the service, the actions that the consumer should take in order for it to be properly performed - everything that contributes to the performance of the service. Fulfillment of the service may be one-time (delivery of goods, issue of goods), continuous (hosting service), periodic (subscription).

Attention!

Art. 548 of the Civil Code imposes on the seller the responsibility for the quality of the delivery of the goods, especially when there is a risk of its loss or accidental damage. So, until the item is delivered to the buyer, the seller is responsible for the entire delivery process. Any clauses limiting the entrepreneur's liability in this regard are considered illegal clauses.

The seller is not responsible for the loss or damage of the goods during delivery, if the consumer chooses the carrier himself.

Commercial information should also include presenting the consumer with the complaint procedure, i.e .:

  • how the complaint is to be submitted,

  • on what basis is it considered,

  • at what date and what are the consequences of positive / negative consideration of the submitted complaint.

Indication of the right to withdraw from the contract

The right to withdraw from a distance or off-premises contract without giving any reason is a measure of consumer protection. The entrepreneur is obliged to inform the consumer about the possibility of withdrawal within 14 days of receiving the goods. If he fails to comply with the information obligation, then this period is extended to 12 months and - which is extremely important - the consumer is not responsible for reducing the value of the item.

The seller should also notify the buyer about the method of withdrawing from the contract (in the form of a declaration) and send a model form that can be used by the consumer. It is included in Annex 2 to the Act on Consumer Rights. The consumer should also be informed about the costs of returning the goods as part of the withdrawal.

Attention!

If the seller does not inform that, as part of the withdrawal, the consumer bears the cost of returning the goods, then the consumer is obliged to cover the cost of returning the goods.

The Consumer Rights Act in Art. 38 also lists a number of circumstances when withdrawal from the contract is not possible. If the subject of the contract is excluded from the right of withdrawal, the seller should also provide this information.

Providing the costs for the services provided until the contract is withdrawn

As already mentioned, the consumer has the right to withdraw from the contract within 14 days or until the service is not fully performed.The seller may stipulate that if the customer wishes to withdraw before the service has been fully performed, then he will bear the obligation to pay for reasonable costs that have occurred on the seller's side in connection with its performance.

It is worth noting that the seller may claim such costs only if he meets the information obligation and obtains the consumer's consent recorded on the carrier for the provision of services before the expiry of 14 days.

Pursuant to Art. 12 point 11 of the Act, the seller is obliged to inform the customer about the obligation to pay, resulting from art. 35 of the Act. This article concerns the customer's obligation to pay the part of the service that was fulfilled up to the time of withdrawal from the contract by the customer. It is calculated proportionally, based on the agreed price or agreed remuneration.

In practice, therefore, the seller should:

  1. inform the customer that in the event of withdrawal from the contract, he bears the costs of services provided until the withdrawal,

  2. obtain the consumer's consent to start providing the service before the deadline for withdrawing from the contract.

How and when do you need to provide the customer with commercial information?

All the above commercial information, in accordance with the Act on consumer rights, should be provided in a clear and understandable manner at the latest when the consumer expresses his will to be bound by the contract. The seller may place some of the information on his website (eg in the shop regulations or the "About us" tab). It is important that the customer knows all the mandatory elements that are imposed by the law at the time of the final submission of the order.