Online shopping

Online shopping seems very simple and convenient: with a few clicks you order the goods and after a while they are delivered to your door or the parcel machine. At the same time, you should not make any hasty decisions.

Before ordering goods from the online shop

  • Find out whether the online shop belongs to a legal entity or an individual: look at the bank account to which the money must be transferred and check whether the company is registered in the Commercial Register;
  • Remember that if the seller is a private person, the goods or services do not fall under the statutory protection of the consumer's right of claim, the 14-day right of withdrawal, etc., and that you cannot contact the Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority in the event of problems when purchasing from private individuals;
  • Please note that the website of the online shop must contain the following information: the name and location of the company, the e-mail address and telephone number to which you can contact in the event of a problem; the conditions for returning the goods, asserting a claim and warranty information; how long it takes for the goods to arrive and what conditions apply for the return of the unsuitable products; who bears the return costs;
  • know that the website of a foreign online shop should also indicate which laws of the country apply when you buy something there;
  • know if you bought something online in another EU country, but also in the case of domestic e-purchases, if the transaction does not work as planned and you want to complain to the trader, you can use the OSS platform to resolve it;
  • to seek further information on the seller's activities and behavior towards other buyers, to review the Consumer Disputes Committee's blacklist and the Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority's blacklist of e-traders who do not comply with the law or fulfil their obligations;
  • Read the terms and conditions and pay particular attention to how and when you have to pay for the products and what additional shipping or service costs may arise;
  • Ask a customer service representative for additional information if the information on the website is not clear enough;
  • know that the general terms and conditions of the online shop must contain information about the terms of payment, the right of withdrawal or absence of withdrawal, the possibilities of returning the goods, etc.;
  • know that if the trader wishes to receive part of the price in advance, this must be stated in the terms and conditions of the contract;
  • Be aware that it is reasonable to pay by credit card for online purchases, because if you encounter a dishonest merchant, you have a better chance of getting the prepaid amount back with the help of your bank;
  • know that you should, if possible, prefer traders who use the ransom service; you can pay the goods to a courier or at a post office, if they have already arrived at you.

Remember!

  • If the online shop requires a 100% prepayment for the product, it is advisable to check whether the prepayment is acceptable, taking into account the delivery time of the goods. If you have to wait a very long time for a product / service and the seller does not appear to be absolutely reliable, it is worth looking for alternatives.
  • Reduce your risk by making a payment through an intermediary corresponding to the deposit account, such as PayPal. In this case, payment is made by a so-called third party and the money is only transferred to the seller after you have received and confirmed the order.
  • When you purchase goods or services from an individual on online portals and social networks, you are not subject to the legal protection of consumer rights. You cannot contact the Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority in the event of a problem.
  • When you purchase online, you store all information and correspondence related to the description of the purchase of the product or service, the completion of the order, confirmation by the trader, etc.
  • You have the right to withdraw from the contract within 14 days of receipt of the goods.
  • If the product ordered online has a defect, the seller is liable for failure to comply with the terms and conditions of the contract within two years of purchase.

As you cannot inspect the product as thoroughly as in a normal shop, you can withdraw from the contract within 14 days of receipt of the product in accordance with the Law of Obligations. In the case of the purchase of a service, the withdrawal period begins with the conclusion of the contract.

Regarding the return of goods, you should know:

  • If the trader has not informed you of your right of withdrawal within 14 days, you can withdraw from the online contract within 12 months + 14 days after receipt of the order.
  • Often the shipping costs associated with returning a product are paid by the retailer. However, the retailer may also impose this obligation on you. However, this must then be clearly stated in the terms and conditions.
  • If you decide to withdraw from the contract, you should receive a refund of the goods immediately, but no later than 14 days after the cancellation of the contract, including the shipping costs you paid for receiving the goods. You must return the product to the seller within the same period.
  • The 14-day return policy does not apply, among other things, to: goods manufactured to your personal needs, such as your measurements; perishable or obsolete goods; audio and video recordings and computer software when the consumer has opened the case; sealed items that cannot be returned for health or hygiene reasons when the package is opened after delivery, such as cosmetics, lingerie and bikinis; entertainment and travel services.

If you have received the goods ordered online and there is a defect, the seller is responsible for non-compliance within two years of delivery of the product. Complaints must be submitted to the seller within two months of notification of non-compliance.

The Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) platform is a new electronic environment for resolving consumer complaints.

The Online Dispute Resolution Platform (ODR) is used to resolve international disputes with traders from other EU Member States, but can also be used for domestic complaints if desired. Consumers can submit their complaint electronically to the trader to agree to the use of an ADR entity. The platform automatically and immediately forwards the complaint to the competent ADR entity.

IN ESTONIA, THE CONSUMER PROTECTION COMMITTEE ACTING AT THE CONSUMER PROTECTION AND TECHNICAL regulatory AUTHORITY PERFORM THE TASKS OF THE RELEVANT UNIT.

As the ODR platform is a technical solution where the consumer or trader may need user support from time to time, the development also offers the chance to consult. If necessary, the EU Consumer Advice Center offers assistance and counseling services in resolving international complaints through the platform in Estonia.

Vouchers or discount coupons are traded in Estonia through several online portals called both voucher and day portals. Purchasing vouchers differs from buying in regular online shops and therefore requires more attention.

Before buying a voucher

  • check the trader's background, as voucher portals are only intermediate environments where other companies offer goods or services;
  • Know that you can search the registration code of the company and contact information in the Commercial Register;
  • research the background of the voucher portal by calling the store or service provider whose voucher is offered and asking if they are aware of the campaign on the voucher portal;
  • Remember that you can also find more information about the voucher portal in the Commercial Register and online, and that it is important to know how long the portal has been in operation and whether there have been problems with it in the past;
  • carry out a small market research yourself, despite the assurance of a favorable price on the voucher portal, how much it would cost to buy the offered product or service directly from the company or another voucher portal;
  • Read the Terms of Use and know that, for example, they must specify the cancellation policy and the person or company making a refund;
  • Read the terms and conditions of a particular offer, e.g. restaurant and beauty vouchers often have a limited period of use or the voucher holder must register by a certain deadline.

Remember!

  • If you have doubts about the reliability of the voucher portal, it makes no sense to take a risk, but it is more sensible not to buy the voucher.
  • Although you can normally cancel an order made online, including vouchers, within 14 days of receiving the item and request a refund, there are some exceptions to the right of withdrawal.

The Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority has the right to blacklist online shops that have caused disruption or have not complied with the decisions of the Consumer Disputes Committee.

Traders who have not complied with the Consumer Disputes Committee's decision will be blacklisted for one year from the date of inclusion, and the Committee will remove the trader from the list if they have remedied the infringement or complied with the Consumer Disputes Committee's decision and notified the Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority.

The Authority points out that the purpose of publishing a blacklist of e-shops is to get e-traders to review all their terms and conditions and the trading techniques used.

An e-shop that is not actually in operation must be closed by the trader in order not to mislead the consumer. Maintaining an e-shop without any actual activity can be regarded by a trader as unfair trading techniques.

Last updated: 08.04.2021