Web Sites



Internet Trading and Govt. Regulations
If you are engaged in electronic commerce you should pay due regard to the interests of consumers and act in accordance with fair business, advertising and marketing practices.

"Consumer confidence is the foundation of e-tailing," says a NZ Internet shopping site's Chief Executive Officer.

However, in March 2001 a check of NZ Internet sites by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs found that nearly half of the 66 sites visited did not display information on returns and refunds. Thirty-eight percent did not provide a physical address, and fifteen percent did not have a phone number. Only half the sites carried a privacy policy on the protection of the personal details of customers. Seventeen percent of the sites did not list the costs of postage and packaging separately.

Results like these send a clear message to traders that, if you want to take advantage of electronic commerce opportunities, you must improve consumer confidence in your service. If you are engaged in electronic commerce you should pay due regard to the interests of consumers and act in accordance with fair business, advertising and marketing practices.


Website checklist
We strongly encourage you to include the following elements in your online marketing sites. These elements will provide your customers with some assurance that you are giving consideration to their rights and interests.

  • Provide adequate address and contact details - phone, fax, email and street address (not just a PO Box number).

  • Itemise costs that would be incurred for the purchase of a particular item (including cost of the product/service, delivery, postage & handling).

  • Include details about the security mechanisms for online payments.

  • Outline your return, exchange, or refund policies.

  • Explain how a customer can lodge a complaint.

  • Specify which legal jurisdiction will apply to the transaction (ie yours or the customer's country), or which disputes resolution processes apply (eg, Ombudsman Scheme or industry code).
  • Show what currency the purchase is in.

  • State any restrictions or conditions that may apply to the purchase (such as geographic restrictions or parental/guardian approval requirements for minors).

  • Include a privacy policy.