Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

consumer protection Related Publications

3 Perceived Risks in Business-to-Consumer Online Contracts: An Empirical Study in Saudi Arabia

Authors: Shaya Alshahrani

Abstract:

Perceived risks play a major role in consumer intentions, behaviors, attitudes, and decisions about online shopping in the KSA. This paper investigates the influence of six perceived risk dimensions on Saudi consumers: product risk, information risk, financial risk, privacy and security risk, delivery risk, and terms and conditions risk empirically. To ensure the success of this study, a random survey was distributed to reflect the consumers’ perceived risk and to enable the generalization of the results. Data were collected from 323 respondents in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA): 50 who had never shopped online and 273 who had done so. The results indicated that all six risks influenced the respondents’ perceptions of online shopping. The non-online shoppers perceived financial and delivery risks as the most significant barriers to online shopping. This was followed closely by performance, information, and privacy and security risks. Terms and conditions were perceived as less significant. The online consumers considered delivery and performance risks to be the most significant influences on internet shopping. This was followed closely by information and terms and conditions. Financial and privacy and security risks were perceived as less significant. This paper argues that introducing adequate legal solutions to addressing related problems arising from this study is an urgent need. This may enhance consumer trust in the KSA online market, increase consumers’ intentions regarding online shopping, and improve consumer protection.

Keywords: E-Commerce, Saudi Arabia, consumer protection, Online shopping, online contracts, perceived risk

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2 Collective Redress in Consumer Protection in South East Europe: Cross-National Comparisons, Issues of Commonality and Difference

Authors: Veronika Efremova

Abstract:

In recent decades, there have been significant developments in the European Union in the field of collective consumer redress. South East European countries (SEE) covered by this paper, in line with their EU accession priorities and duties under Stabilisation and Association Agreements, have to harmonize their national laws with the relevant EU acquis for consumer protection (Chapter 28: Health and Consumer). In these countries, only minimal compliance is achieved. SEE countries have introduced rudimentary collective redress mechanisms, with modest enforcement of collective redress and case law. This paper is based on comprehensive interdisciplinary research conducted for SEE countries on common principles for injunctive and compensatory collective redress mechanisms, emphasizing cross-national comparisons, underlining issues of commonality and difference aiming to develop recommendations for an adequate enforcement of collective redress. SEE countries are recognized by the sectoral approach for regulating collective redress contrary to the majority of EU Member States with having adopted horizontal approach to collective redress. In most SEE countries, the laws do not recognize compensatory but only injunctive collective redress in consumer protection. All responsible stakeholders for implementation of collective redress in SEE countries, lack information and awareness on collective redress mechanisms and the way they function in practice. Therefore, specific actions are needed in these countries to make the whole system of collective redress for consumer protection operational and efficient. Taking into consideration the various designated stakeholders in collective redress in each SEE countries, there is a need of their mutual coordination and cooperation in order to develop consumer protection system and policies. By putting into practice the national collective redress mechanisms, effective access to justice for all consumers, the principle of rule of law will be secured and appropriate procedural guarantees to avoid abusive litigation will be ensured.

Keywords: consumer protection, collective redress mechanism, commonality and difference, South East Europe

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1 Conciliation Bodies as an Effective Tool for the Enforcement of Air Passenger Rights: Examination of an Exemplary Model in Germany

Authors: C. Hipp

Abstract:

The EU Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 under which air passengers can claim compensation in the event of denied boarding, cancellation or long delay of flights has to be regarded as a substantial progress for the consumer protection in the field of air transport since it went into force in February 2005. Nevertheless, different reviews of its effective functioning demonstrate that most passengers affected by service disruptions do not enforce their complaints and claims towards the airline. The main cause of this is not only the unclear legal situation due to the fact that the regulation itself suffers from many undetermined terms and loopholes it is also attributable to the strategy of the airlines which do not handle the complaints of the passengers or exclude their duty to compensate them. Economically contemplated, reasons like the long duration of a trial and the cost risk in relation to the amount of compensation make it comprehensible that passengers are deterred from enforcing their rights by filing a lawsuit. The paper focusses on the alternative dispute resolution namely the recently established conciliation bodies which deal with air passenger rights. In this paper, the Conciliation Body for Public Transport in Germany (Schlichtungsstelle für den öffentlichen Personenverkehr – SÖP) is examined as a successful example of independent consumer arbitration service. It was founded in 2009 and deals with complaints in the field of air passenger rights since November 2013. According to the current situation one has to admit that due to its structure and operation it meets on the one hand the needs of the airlines by giving them an efficient tool of their customer relation management and on the other hand that it contributes to the enforcement of air passenger rights effectively.

Keywords: consumer protection, air passenger rights, alternative dispute resolution (ADR), EU law regulation (EC) No 261/2004

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