Kandic: Consumers in online shopping are more protected than others
The State Secretary of the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, Uros Kandic, stated today that consumers in online shopping are even better legally protected than consumers in traditional shopping.
"Few people know that an online buyer has the right to return the product to the seller within 14 days of purchase without any obligation to report why." It is enough just to address him and to register it with the seller and that he must return the money to the buyer ", stated Kandić at the celebration of the World Consumer Protection Day.
He added that this does not apply to some special situations, such as the purchase of food, products that are intended specifically for the person who ordered them, and medical and other products that are unusable after opening.
According to him, e-commerce in Serbia has experienced a real expansion, as evidenced by the data that in 2020, as many as 14 million electronic transactions were performed, which is twice as much as a year earlier, and that the value of these transactions 33 billion, while in 2019 it was 17 billion.
Kandic pointed out that they are also working on the development of other forms of trade, which is supported by the data that last year the traditional trade in Serbia recorded a growth of four percent.
He assessed that as an excellent result, especially having in mind that there were locks due to the pandemic.
He added that the relevant ministry will continue to protect consumer rights, following European standards, and announced the adoption of new legal solutions in this area.
"We are preparing amendments to the Law on Consumer Protection, which will primarily go in the direction of giving greater authority to the market inspection, through the possibility for it to issue misdemeanor orders." It cannot do that now, and after the adoption of the law, it will be able to do more than 30 types of offenses that traders will commit, "said Uros Kandic.
Work will also be done on solutions for out-of-court disputes, and the value of purchased goods that will be able to go to mediation will be increased.
Kandic pointed out that a lot has been done since the adoption of the Law on Consumer Protection in 2014, which is also shown by the data that only about 2,000 consumer reports were submitted annually, and now that number is ten times higher.
Assistant Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications Visnja Rakic pointed out that the goal of the ministry is to make consumers satisfied and that all activities of this department during the previous three years have contributed to the expansion of electronic commerce during the pandemic.