Websites offering digital contents such as games, e-books, videos and music, now more than 80% compliant after sweep 2012
Over 80% of the websites checked for breach of EU consumer rules now give satisfactory information to clients compared to only 50% in 2012.
In summer 2012, consumer authorities in 26 Member States, Norway and Iceland checked 330 sites websites that sell digital content products (games, books, videos, music). The main problems found were unfair contract terms, unclear information with regard to the right of withdrawal and lack of mandatory information on the trader's identity.
A "sweep" is an EU-wide screening of websites, to identify breaches of consumer law and to subsequently ensure its enforcement. The sweep is coordinated by the European Commission and run simultaneously by national enforcement authorities. The Digital Content Sweep took place in 26 EU Member States, Norway and Iceland in June 2012.
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First part of the Sweep
The European Commission on 6 December 2012 published the results of an EU wide screening of websites selling games, books, videos and music which can be downloaded to your computer or mobile device. The check shows that over 75% of these websites do not appear to comply with consumer protection rules. This is all the more worrying when vulnerable consumers, i.e. children, are targeted. Users have to click their way through a maze of contract terms, to find out how much they will eventually have to pay and children are frequently lured into purchasing items related to supposedly free games. In case of a problem, reaching the after-sales service is often difficult as contact information is missing in more than one third of the websites. National enforcement authorities will now contact the companies concerned to enable them to clarify their position or correct their website.
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