Commercial information provided to customers of the online store


Providing comprehensive commercial information is the responsibility of the entrepreneur when concluding each transaction. He should exercise particular care in this respect when selling goods over the Internet. Due to the specificity of this type of trading, the legislator has formulated a catalog of issues that the entrepreneur must inform the client about on his website.

Why provide commercial information?

The Consumer Rights Act, in force since December 2014, has significantly changed the area of ​​customer protection. The legislator also devoted a lot of space to distance contracts, including online sales, extending the scope of the seller's obligations. One of them is the need to provide the customer with the information necessary for the purchase of goods in a clear and comprehensible manner. This obligation is one of the measures of consumer protection and, in order to fulfill its task, it must be fulfilled in an appropriate manner.

First of all, all data must be provided legibly, not only in terms of wording and vocabulary (which excludes the store's regulations in a foreign language), but also clarity and readability of the record. The entrepreneur is to provide the buyer with the opportunity to get acquainted not only with such basic information as the name of the store, its address and e-mail address, but also with more detailed information. They should be included in the form of regulations, mandatory for every online store. What's more, every online store is obliged to publish such regulations on its website and make it available to customers also in the form of a PDF document or in any other form, allowing it to be downloaded to the hard drive.This is important as the seller who insufficiently provided information to the buyer may be fined, even up to 10 percent of the revenue earned in the accounting year preceding the year in which the fine was imposed.

Commercial information, i.e. what an e-shop customer should know

Commercial information catalog, contained in art. 8 of the Consumer Rights Act is very wide. Of course, the entrepreneur may post more data on his website, but the data set out in the act are a mandatory minimum.

In addition to such obvious issues as the entrepreneur's identification data (including the name of the online store, its e-mail address and landline address, telephone and fax number), the consumer should also be informed about:

  • main features of the service, in particular about its subject,

  • the method of contacting the entrepreneur with the consumer,

  • the price of the product (including the amount of tax and any customs duty), as well as delivery charges, postage and other costs,

  • method of payment and its date,

  • the method and date of performance by the entrepreneur,

  • the entrepreneur's obligation to deliver goods without defects,

  • the time and duration of the contract,

  • the address at which complaints will be accepted (if different from the company's address),

  • the procedure for submitting complaints and its consideration,

  • costs of returning items in a situation where the consumer withdraws from the contract, also in the event that the goods cannot be sent back by post, only delivered back to the seller in a different way,

  • situations in which the consumer is not entitled to withdraw from the contract,

  • the obligation to reimburse the costs incurred by the entrepreneur in a situation where the consumer has withdrawn from the contract and the service has already started,

  • the premises for the termination of the contract by the consumer and the manner in which he can do so,

  • the duration of the consumer's obligations under the contract,

  • the amount and method of deposit or other security (in the event that the entrepreneur demands this type of guarantee from the consumer),

  • the possibility of considering complaints, as well as pursuing claims by out-of-court methods,

  • the content of the warranty and after-sales services and how to use them,

  • information on the details of the operation of digital content sold by the entrepreneur and possible impact on computer hardware or software (information about the operating system or system requirements),

  • the code of good practices applied by the entrepreneur.

As can be seen, the Act broadly defines the boundaries of commercial information that the entrepreneur is obliged to provide to the consumer. In summary, it includes basic information about the entrepreneur and the product, as well as all issues related to complaints, termination of the contract by the consumer and the entrepreneur, as well as out-of-court dispute resolution and redress. Of course, nothing prevents the entrepreneur from extending the information or expanding the regulations of the online store. However, the time of delivery of such data to the client is important - it must be at the latest when the entrepreneur begins the service.

Commercial information and promotional information

However, commercial information should not be confused with promotional materials posted on the seller's website or delivered to the customer via e-mail. The main difference lies in the voluntary submission of promotional information and the mandatory provision of commercial information. The purpose of their transmission is also divergent - marketing materials contain mainly information about discounts and rebates, and are also intended to interest the recipient and encourage him to learn more about the entrepreneur's brand.