Some consumers are afraid of losing their money when shopping online abroad. The European Consumer Centre advises to pay with cards or via electronic payment systems because they provide a good level of protection for the consumer.
“It is important not to use bank transfers for payments if possible. There aren’t many possibilities to get money back when goods are not delivered or when consumers become victims of frauds. Some e-shops don’t offer any other means of payment, but in such cases it is advisable to check the trustworthiness of the vendor, including reviews from other users,” says Ondřej Tichota from the European Consumer Centre which helps resolve consumer disputes against traders from other EU countries as well as Norway and Iceland.
The ECC experience shows that it is most suitable to pay with a card via a secure payment gate or use one of electronic payment systems. Doing so, consumers can benefit from the possibility to get reimbursed in case that the vendor doesn’t deliver the ordered and paid goods and is not willing to send the money back. „Payment card providers offer the so called chargeback procedure within which a bank can ‘withdraw’ the paid amount from the vendor’s bank. This applies only in cases of card payments. There is no such possibility in case of bank transfers,” alerts Ondřej Tichota.
Card providers aren’t legally obliged to use the chargeback procedure, but many do it voluntarily and some even use this possibility as a promotional mean to attract new clients. Electronic payment systems offer reimbursement within the services of their customer care centres. If a consumer has a dispute against a vendor from another EU country, Norway or Iceland, the European Consumer Centre can provide free-of-charge assistance. For more information see www.europeanconsumer.cz.