Safe Online Shopping: Useful Tips

Online buyers are becoming more numerous in Belgium. Shopping on the Internet is not without risk. Some precautions are better than one …

An online store is not the other

Shopping online safely starts with a secure internet environment. To be sure to surf on a secure site, check if the site address starts with “https: //”. If the address starts with a simple “http” (so without -s), it means that the web page is not secure.

If you also pay online after your purchases, it is better to first check if the payment area is secure. Again, the address of a secure payment area must begin with “https: //”. The address bar usually contains a small padlock or key. This small additional visual symbol indicates that the payment environment is secure.

Try to shop only on reliable online stores, and preferably only on webshops you know. If you have any doubt about the reliability of an online store, a simple search on a search engine will often allow you to find comments on the service offered, the quality of the products, … and reassure you. 
Do not blindly trust the quality labels exhibited by online shops. All labels are not trustworthy.

Consumer Rights Online

You should also know that as an online consumer you have rights, just like when shopping in physical shops.

Thus, online traders must clearly and correctly present their products. Not only must the merchant clearly indicate the main characteristics of the proposed product or service, but must also communicate the total price, including any costs (such as shipping costs), to prospective purchasers. If it is not possible to know the shipping costs in advance, the online merchant must detail how these charges are calculated.

Online shoppers have the right to cancel their purchases within 14 days. This 14-day cooling-off period starts from the day the buyer receives his products. It goes without saying that the product can not have been used if it is desired to return it. And in some cases, this 14-day cooling-off period does not apply: for example for train tickets, custom products or products that rot quickly, … However, the costs of returning the product are If it is made clear that the latter are to be borne by the seller.

Are you still a victim of online fraud?

You bought shoes online but they never got you? Or the washing machine that you bought on the internet is defective and you are unable to be heard by the after-sales service? If you are a victim of fraud in online purchases , please contact the Directorate General Economic Inspection of the FPS Economy. By providing your information, you help to prevent others from falling victim to the same scam.

In the event of a problem when buying on the Internet, such as an item that is not delivered, the bank can not refund your payment. On the other hand, if you pay for your purchases on the internet by means of a credit card, you may consider taking additional insurance against Internet fraud, delivery errors, delivery of damaged goods or failure to deliver. If you regularly make purchases online, it may be worthwhile to inform you about this at your bank.

Check your account statements regularly, especially if you often make purchases online. This will allow you to react quickly if you notice suspicious transactions on your account. In case of fraud with your credit card or bank card, contact CardStop as soon as possible at 070 344 344. Your card will be immediately blocked.

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