When the website was registered/updated
If a website has been registered recently, you should take extra care when doing business with them, especially if the prices on the website are also very low and payment in advance is required. Practical experience shows that this combination is often seen on fraudulent websites.
How previous customers have rated the website
Other consumers’ experiences of trading on a website can be an important factor when deciding whether a website is reliable. Through our cooperation with Trustpilot ApS, we collect customer ratings from a wide range of price comparison and similar databases throughout Europe. The various ratings are combined as one figure, called a trust rating, which you will find on the result page. Click on the trust logo in the result box and you can see the individual ratings that comprise the rating.
Official Company Register information about the company
You can use this information to check that the shop is actually listed on the Official Company Register, and what information has been registered by public agencies on the online shop in question.
However, you should be aware that the check is only effective if the web trader has given you the correct registration number.
The results of a Google search
If other consumers have experienced problems with a specific online shop, you can often find this out by running the shop’s URL (the name of the website) through the Google search engine. If the first couple of pages of Google’s search results contain negative references to the shop in question, there may be good reason to be extra cautious.
If the website is a member of an e-commerce trustmark scheme
If the web trader has chosen to be affiliated with a trustmark scheme, this is often a sign that he has considered and is interested in ensuring your rights. The organisation behind the trustmark scheme often also monitors the web trader’s compliance with the trustmark’s rules and regulations, which you can normally find by clicking on the trustmark logo.
On the result page you can see the trustmark scheme(s) that the online shop is affiliated with, according to our information. We do not check the adherence to all existing trustmark schemes so the results of this search should be combined with the list also available in Howard of known European trustmark schemes.
Trustmarks to look for in a specific country
If the web trader has chosen to be affiliated with a trustmark scheme, this is often a sign that he has considered and is interested in ensuring your rights. The organisation behind the trustmark scheme will also normally monitor the web trader’s compliance with the trustmark’s rules and regulations, which you can find by clicking on the trustmark logo.
The general cancellation period in the country in question
You always have a cancellation period of at least 7 working days from delivery of the goods/from the ordering of a service when you make purchases within the EU. However, some countries guarantee a longer cancellation period.
On the Howard website you can find an overview of the length of the general cancellation period in all EU-countries + in Norway and in Iceland.
The general limitation period in the country in question
You have a minimum of 2 years’ right of complaint when making purchases within the EU. However, in some countries, the period of complaint is longer than 2 years.
Examples of price comparison sites in the country in question
Price comparison sites can be useful when surfing for goods on the internet, both when finding foreign web traders and also as many of these services enable consumers to evaluate the web trader after the business transaction is complete. This can help give you an idea of such aspects as whether the shop delivers on time.
Contact information for your national European Consumer Centre
Your national European Consumer Centre can assist you with questions or problems concerning cross-border transactions within Europe.