Information Brings More Safety When Shopping Online

Online shopping is effortless, but it requires that the consumers are aware of its risks and remain alert. The campaign ‘Information Brings More Safety’, launched today, draws attention to issues that online shoppers should consider before placing an order online. The campaign is organised by a group of Finnish supervision authorities.

The campaign slogan is “There is no Sheriff in this Town”. The sentence refers to the fact that, at worst, online commerce can be like the Wild West, where nobody supervises the product safety or safeguards the consumers rights. It may come as a surprise to buyers that Finnish consumer protection does not reach everywhere and that Finnish supervision authorities cannot intervene in any other matters than those concerning products purchased from a Finnish online shop or marketing and contract terms of online shops operating in Finnish.

Typically, in an online shopping scam, the customer never receives the product he or she has ordered and paid in advance and is unable to reach the seller afterwards.

At worst, the online shop may be selling a product that has been withdrawn from the market in Finland and the EU area as dangerous to life. Instead of the real product, the packaging may contain counterfeit products of various kinds. In the online shop, the product may seem the same as the product sold in a ground floor shop, but the manufacturer may have intended the batch of products for a different market, in which case the product may not be suited for, for example, the Finnish weather conditions or mains voltage. If the product does not meet the safety requirements and the shop operates out of the reach of authorities, in case of accident, the consumers bears the responsibility.

The campaign gives consumers practical tips concerning online shopping and advice on how to recognise a responsible shop and reliable product online.

The campaign is visible online

Basic information and tips on online shopping are collected on the campaign site Banner ads for the campaign will appear in online publications from 1 to 17 December 2014. The campaign will also spread in social media channels through, for example, videos and an Instagram competition.

The principal partners in the campaign are the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA), the Finnish Transport Safety Agency (Trafi), the Finnish Medicines Agency (FIMEA), the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, Finland (STUK), Finnish Customs, and the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes), and the Finnish Commerce Federation as a sponsor.

Campaign videos:

Further information: (in Finnish)