Code of Consumer Ethics
Code of Consumer Ethics for E-Commerce.
Purpose and Scope
- The Code sets out the general principles and sets out the minimum rules of professional ethics and ethical conduct to be observed by consumers towards businesses.
- It applies to transactions in the context of contracts for the sale of goods or services concluded between consumers and suppliers for remuneration entirely online, ie by electronic means remotely without the need for the simultaneous physical presence of both parties (B2C transactions).
- The Code refers to rules of self-regulation of companies operating in e-commerce aimed at consumers and is in force without prejudice to EU and Greek legislation on e-commerce and consumer protection, which in no case replaces.
- For the application of the Code, the following terms have the meaning given to them below:
a) “business, operating in the field of” electronic business “” (hereinafter business) means legal or natural persons established in Greece who provide products or / and services to consumers in Greece and / or Abroad, operating legally directly and / or as intermediaries in the provision of services for a direct or indirect remuneration by electronic means remotely and at the personal choice of the consumer.
b) “Remote electronic means” means services and products provided by businesses and accepted by consumers through electronic processing equipment which is provided, transmitted and received entirely via the Internet and / or mobile networks / applications text).
c) For the other terms, the definitions that exist in law 2251/1994, as in force, in p.d. 131/2003 and in the Code of Consumer Ethics of article 7 of law 3297/2004, as in force.
- In case of doubt, the definitions of the current legislation prevail.
General principles and obligations of online stores
A. General principles
The Code is governed by the principles of consumer protection, transparency, impartiality, technological neutrality, professional ethics, ethics and respect for privacy, protection of personal data and protection of vulnerable groups as specifically mentioned. in Articles 4 and 5 hereof.
B. Minimal consumer information
- The company ensures the pre-contractual information of the consumer so that he can be fully, accurately and clearly informed about the following:
i. Full company name, registered office, postal address, VAT number, contact telephones / email address.
ii. Registration number in GEMI.
iii. Main features of the products it sells and the quality of the services provided (eg the total price including VAT or other taxes, shipping costs, or any costs of returning the product any additional charges, terms and methods of payment, guarantees, size -dimensions of the product), as well as for the means of payment.
iv. Availability of services and products and the deadline within which the supplier undertakes to deliver the goods or provide the services.
n. Characteristics of charges, possible discount packages or special offers.
vi. Terms of withdrawal from the contract as well as the termination or cancellation of the contract, as specifically referred to in Article 6 hereof.
vii. The possibility of out-of-court settlement of their disputes and information on the recognized bodies of alternative dispute resolution of consumers, which the suppliers commit or are obliged to use for the settlement of the disputes. In the absence of such a commitment or obligation, the suppliers must specify whether they will make use of the relevant bodies.
viii. The possibility for electronic alternative dispute resolution as specifically mentioned in Article 8 hereof.
ix. The terms of after-sales service, any commercial guarantees (content, duration and extent of territorial validity), and the seller’s liability for actual defects and lack of agreed properties, according to articles 534 et seq.
x. The possible need for frequent maintenance of the products or the existence of spare parts at a very high cost in relation to the current price of these products.
xi. The purpose of the processing, the recipients or the categories of recipients of the data and the existence of the right of access and objection, as specifically mentioned in article 5B / par. 5 of this.
xii. The codes of conduct or any credentials that bind them.
xiii. The above information to the consumer must be understandable, legal, true, up to date, easily accessible to all, including people with disabilities, and verifiable and must be in Greek and optionally in another language.
- The terms of the contract for the provision of services and / or the sale of products must be posted on the company’s website in a place that can be easily accessed by the consumer.
- In cases of request for an order from the consumer, the company is obliged to deliver / send immediately a receipt of the order request which clearly states the date of receipt and confirmation of the order.
- Under the responsibility of the company, it becomes clear to the consumer the time at which the contract is deemed to have been concluded, as defined in the current legislation. The basic contractual terms should be available to consumers in advance in such a way that the order of the order can not be registered, if the user does not previously know about them. Following the preparation of the contract, the company must refrain from any action that involves modification of its terms, in particular to modify the price or to inform about the non-availability of the ordered product or ordered service.
- The consumer has sufficient information about the progress of his order.
- The company, in case it finds that the consumer did not have the correct information or the contract was not concluded with his explicit consent, makes every effort to resolve the issue in a reasonable time.
- The staff of e-commerce companies who come in contact with consumers to provide services or even sell products must be fully informed of the above and answer reasonable consumer questions clearly and accurately.
C. Advertising – Promotion
- Advertising and promotion must comply with applicable law.
- In any case the following should apply:
i. Advertising messages and all information provided by businesses should be characterized (as appropriate and as far as possible by the medium used) in terms of clarity as to the identity of the business, the properties and the final price of the advertised product, or if this is not possible, the way of calculating it, in language simple and understandable for the consumer, so that the latter is able to evaluate the information provided and safely make the right decision in its judgment regarding the purchase of products or services .
ii. Advertisements or other offers to refrain from misleading or aggressive practices before, during and after a commercial transaction related to a particular product or service, which is directly or indirectly likely to mislead the consumer about the product or service being displayed .
iii. The staff of the company that comes in direct contact with the consumer does not mislead or seek to mislead in any way with actions or omissions the consumers giving wrong impressions about the service or product provided.
iv. The company does not provide incomplete or inaccurate information about the possibility of providing the service or selling the product to the consumer.
v .. Any advertising and promotions specifically aimed at a minority audience may not directly or indirectly incite them to acts of violence, the use of alcohol, tobacco products, toxic substances or in any form dangerous to their safety and health behavior.
vi. Companies comply with the age restrictions set by the current legislation regarding the promotion and sale of specific product categories.
vii. Any advertising and promotions aimed at people with disabilities should ensure that they are accessible.
Protection of minors and other vulnerable groups
- The staff of the company does not take advantage of the weakness of consumers who belong to vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, minors, people who do not understand the Greek language well, or people with disabilities. Businesses provide careful, accurate and objective descriptions of products and services specifically addressed to such individuals in a way that is understandable, comprehensible and fully accessible to them, so as not to mislead them as to their true size, value, nature, purpose , the durability, performance and price of the product or service advertised.
- Especially for the minor consumers, the companies take care – as far as possible – for the formulation of the appropriate conditions of access to their websites according to the provisions of the applicable laws, as the case may be.
Security of transactions and protection of personal data
A. Transaction security
- Businesses take care of the security of transactions carried out using Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).
- Companies use the appropriate technical and organizational measures to ensure the confidentiality of the data they collect and process to the extent legally prescribed and in accordance with the nature of the products and services they provide.
B. Protection of personal data
- It is not allowed to collect, store or process data that the law characterizes as sensitive, ie data related to racial or ethnic origin, political views, religious or philosophical beliefs, membership in an association, union and trade union organization, health, social welfare as well as those related to criminal prosecutions or convictions unless the terms and conditions set by the law and the Personal Data Protection Authority are met.
- The collection, processing, storage and use of other personal data is done only when this is allowed by the current legal framework and always in accordance with the conditions provided by it.
- In particular regarding the use of “all types of cookies”, their installation should be carried out after proper information of the consumer and on the basis of his consent, in accordance with the law and the relevant instructions of the Personal Data Protection Authority.
- In case of non-consent / acceptance of “cookies”, companies allow, if technologically feasible, the continued use of the website by the consumer, without sending cookies.
- Businesses ensure that the personal data collected is not disclosed or transmitted to third parties, without the prior information or consent of the person concerned, and / or in cases provided by law, always in accordance with the provisions of personal data protection legislation. .
- Businesses respect the desire of consumers not to be included in files intended to make unsolicited commercial communications with human intervention (call) to promote and supply products or services, if they have stated this to the publicly available provider.
- Businesses give consumers the opportunity to choose whether they wish to send promotional messages and any kind of newsletters and in case of acceptance to have the option of freely withdrawing their consent and companies have the obligation not to repatriate new advertising messages and any kind of information from now on (unless the consent is re-established or the statutory provisions are met again).
- The consumer has the right to have direct access to information on the issues of his personal data, to oppose their use in future promotions, to request and confirm their partial or total deletion from the company’s records, to request the correction or completion to be informed of the time and manner of the initial acquisition of his personal data by the company as well as to be informed about the applied methods of personal data protection.
Consumer right of withdrawal
- The consumer has an inalienable right to unjustified and non-harmful withdrawal in accordance with the provisions of the current legislation.
- Before the consumer enters into a contract, the supplier must inform him, in a clear, unambiguous and comprehensible manner, in his language, of his right to withdraw unjustifiably and unreasonably within the legally prescribed period of fourteen (14) days, the time point determined each time by law, as well as for the terms, conditions, exceptions and the procedure for exercising the right of withdrawal, but also for the consequences of the exercise, taking into account the specificity of each product / service and providing it and withdrawal form.
- The company ensures that it has the appropriate mechanisms (by telephone and / or e-mail) and adequate staff to deal with customer service, making reasonable efforts to inform them of their requests within the legal time limits per case.
- When communicating through a call center, the company ensures that the consumer does not stay in excessive waiting and in any case the charge of the call does not exceed the charges that apply to local calls.
When the communication is made through the online contact form or e-mail address of the company, care is taken to send a response within a reasonable time from the receipt of the relevant request of the customer.
Electronic Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Businesses inform consumers about the possibility of alternative resolution of consumer disputes that have arisen from contracts for the electronic sale of products or services by using the registered ADR entities in the Register in accordance with the joint ministerial decision 70330/2015.
2. Businesses, whether or not they undertake to use ADR, shall provide in an accessible manner, through their websites, an electronic link to the EU Consumer Dispute Resolution Platform (ADR platform), in application of the provisions of Regulation (EU) 524 / 2013) through which consumers submit their complaint, then forwarding it to the relevant ADR body. “