Obligation to provide information in the online store - what should be reported
In accordance with applicable law, the seller must fulfill the obligation to inform the customer in the online store at the latest when presenting the customer with a proposal to conclude a contract. This obligation is very important for both parties. On the one hand, the entrepreneur must provide the customer with a number of information about his rights, but on the other hand, he protects himself against misunderstandings or attempts to charge him with costs that would normally have to be borne by the customer, e.g. delivery costs. Read and check what is the obligation to provide information in the online store.
The obligation to provide information in the online store and the Act on consumer rights
The provision of fundamental importance in the scope of the information obligation of each entrepreneur is Art. 8 of the Consumer Rights Act, which lists the entrepreneur's obligations that must be met when concluding contracts with customers outside the company's premises or remotely, i.e. in an online store.
Art. 8 At the latest when the consumer expresses his will to be bound by the contract, the entrepreneur is obliged to inform the consumer, unless this information is already apparent from the circumstances, in a clear and understandable manner about:
1) the main features of the service, taking into account the subject of the service and the method of communication with the consumer;
2) their identifying data, in particular about the company, the authority that registered the business activity, and the number under which it was registered, the address at which it runs the enterprise, and the telephone number of the enterprise;
3) the total price or remuneration for the service, including taxes, and when the nature of the subject of the service does not allow, judging reasonably, to calculate their amount in advance - the manner in which they will be calculated, as well as fees for delivery, postal services and any other costs, and when the amount of these fees cannot be determined - about the obligation to pay them; in the event of concluding a contract for an indefinite period or a contract including subscription, the entrepreneur is obliged to provide the total price or remuneration including all payments for the settlement period, as well as all costs that the consumer is obliged to bear;
4) the manner and time limit for the performance by the entrepreneur and the complaint handling procedure applied by the entrepreneur;
5) the entrepreneur's liability for the quality of the service provided for by the law;
6) the content of after-sales services and guarantees;
7) the duration of the contract or - when the contract is concluded for an indefinite period or is to be automatically extended - about the method and conditions for terminating the contract;
8) functionality of digital content and the applicable technical measures for their protection;
9) significant interoperability of digital content with computer hardware and software
Provision of services by electronic means
Online sales is the provision of electronic services, therefore the customer must be provided with additional information related to the performance of a contract other than that concluded in a stationary store. The entrepreneur is obliged to provide information on the website in an unambiguous, clear and understandable manner about:
The main features of the benefit, taking into account the subject of the benefit. This means that the entrepreneur is obliged to provide information about what the company does, what services it offers / what it sells on the website that allows for purchases.
Another very important information is providing identifying data, in particular the name of the company, about the body that registered the business, as well as the number under which it is registered. This information must be identical to the data included in the National Court Register or CEIDG.
Contact address - in addition to identifying data, customers should be informed how to contact the seller. There is no specific form of implementation of this task, so it can be a telephone number, e-mail address, fax or a contact form.
The total price or remuneration for services, including tax and the cost of delivering the purchased goods or services. This means that before making a purchase, the entrepreneur is obliged to inform how much the product costs (the price must include VAT), the final price should also include the cost of delivery (the only possible or selected from among the options provided).
If the purchase includes, for example, a subscription, the unit price and the total price that must be paid by the customer in order to fulfill the order should be taken into account.
Method and date of payment - another obligation of the entrepreneur is to provide the method and date by which the buyer must pay the price for the purchased item or service.
Rules on complaints - the entrepreneur is obliged to inform about the method and date of submitting a complaint about a product or service and the date of considering the accepted application. It is also mandatory to provide the address at which the consumer may submit a complaint, if different from the address of the enterprise. Recently, it is obligatory to provide information on the possibility of out-of-court dispute resolution (ie ODR / ADR) in online shops.
Warranty rules - the entrepreneur is obliged to provide information about the guarantee granted for a given item or service. In the absence of such information, the provisions of the Civil Code will apply.
Obligation to provide information in the online store and the moment of its submission
The entrepreneur should inform the customer at the latest when the consumer expresses his will to be bound by the distance contract, i.e. at the latest before placing the order. This obligation may be fulfilled by posting a product description when placing an order in the online store or by reading and accepting the terms of the contract.
It is also recommended to refer to the regulations of the online store, the terms of which are available on the website, in a downloadable version. It is worth considering the checkbox containing the terms of the contract with which the customer must read and uncheck so that the order can be processed.
Information for the client must be provided in a clear, visible and understandable manner. This obligation imposes on the entrepreneur to place them in a language that is understandable to the buyer (binding in a given country), written in a manner consistent with the rules of spelling and grammar, as well as in readable font and color.
Information on the possibility of withdrawing from the contract
Art. 27 of the Act on consumer rights
A consumer who has concluded a distance or off-premises contract may, within 14 days, withdraw from it without giving a reason and without incurring costs, except for the costs specified in art. 33, art. 34 sec. 2 and art. 35.
It is extremely important for the buyer and seller to inform about the possibility of withdrawing from the contract. The law gives the possibility to withdraw from a distance contract within 14 days from the date of delivery of the item, and when the contract concerns the provision of a service - from the date of its conclusion. An important issue is also the possibility of withdrawing from it without giving any reason.
However, it is not possible to withdraw from the contract if the service or item provided was performed on an individual order, was purchased at an auction (e.g. by auction on Allegro) or if the subject of the service are sound, visual recordings or computer software.
In other cases, the seller is obliged to reimburse the customer for the amount paid within 14 days together with the shipping costs incurred by the buyer (provided that the return covers only the cheapest form of shipment).
It is worth remembering to provide information about the possibility of withdrawing from the contract, because in the event of failure to do so, the customer has a 12-month withdrawal period.
Personal information when purchasing over the Internet
An entrepreneur selling online usually uses a website created by himself (or on his own behalf). In order to complete the order, please fill in the form with personal data, including name, surname, address, telephone number. When placing an order, it is often possible to subscribe to the newsletter, thanks to which the entrepreneur can send commercial information to people interested in his products.
In this case, it should be remembered that it will be the processing of personal data covered by the obligation to register the collection with GIODO, in accordance with the Personal Data Protection Act.
However, the data controllers who process the data are exempt from the obligation to register personal data:
for the sole purpose of issuing an invoice, bill or financial reporting
widely available (i.e. if the customer is a natural person running a business whose data is available in the KRS or CEIDG register).
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The obligations of the entrepreneur and the conclusion of the contract
Consumers are specially and comprehensively protected by Polish law. The Civil Code obliges to provide clear, understandable and not misleading information in Polish before concluding the contract, which describes the use of the sold item - i.e. attaching instructions, specifying special characters and parameters of the sold item, information on admission to trading in the Republic of Poland, as well as specifying manufacturer or importer. In the case of the sale of special items, e.g. with harmful substances or dangerous to use, it is necessary to comply with specific provisions that impose additional information obligations on the entrepreneur. Special provisions may apply, for example, to toys, cosmetics or food.
Obligation to provide information in the online store and the place of their placement
Information about the specification of the sold item must be on the item or be permanently connected with it. In practice, this means the need to stick information directly on the item or attach instructions to the packaging sent to the customer.
Consequences of failure to provide information during online sales
Failure to provide the above-mentioned information when selling via the Internet may result in the imposition of penalties provided for, inter alia, in the Act on consumer rights.
For example, for failure to comply with the information obligation regarding additional fees and / or costs of returning items, the customer will not be charged with them.
Art. 23 of the Act on consumer rights
If the entrepreneur has not complied with the information obligations regarding additional fees or other costs referred to in Art. 12 sec. 1 point 5, or the cost of returning the items referred to in Art. 12 sec. 1 point 10, the consumer shall not bear these fees and costs.
The entrepreneur cannot limit or exclude his liability towards the client. This is a prohibited clause!