According to the Czech Trade Inspection 4 out of 5 inspected online shops are breaching the law

4. 5. 2015

The growing importance of online shopping did not escape the attention of the Czech Trade Inspection Authority (CTIA). In recent years, the agency has adopted a stricter and more intensive approach of inspecting online shopping websites (e-shops). In the year 2014, 867 e-shops were subjects to its inspection, and as a result, it discovered 685 cases (i.e. about 78 % of all inspected persons) of non-compliance with the Consumer Protection Act. A total of 682 fines have been imposed. According to the CTIA, one of the main reasons for the high amount of fines is the fact that the new Civil Code had not been properly implemented in the terms and conditions of many e-shops.The number of inspections is increasing due to the number of complaints filed directly by consumers.

One of the most common violations of the law was the so-called misleading commercial practices - which includes the provision of non-complete information about goods or information which is misleading for the average consumer, albeit in fact correct.

In order to avoid financial sanctions from the CTIA, e-shops' providers shall comply with many statutory requirements. These include informing the customer properly about his contractual rights, the process of returning damaged or defective goods, and about his rights to withdraw from the contract. This is where it is particularly important not to forget about the new Civil Code, which introduces substantial changes to this area.

In order to prevent potential fines - which may amount to several million CZK - and repeated inspections from the CITA, it is therefore recommended that the sellers carry out a thorough revision of their terms and conditions.

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