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EU's Online Shoppers Get an Extended "Cooling Off Period"

timothy posted about a month ago | from the heard-the-ending-sucked dept.

EU 140

mrspoonsi (2955715) writes with word of a new extension to European consumer protection laws: Previously, anyone who bought a product online was allowed seven business days during which they were able to change their mind and return the product for a full refund. This 'cooling-off period,' during which a refund can be requested without being required to give a reason for the cancellation, has now been extended to fourteen calendar days from the date on which the goods are received. Online retailers and providers are now also banned from 'pre-ticking' optional extras on order forms, such as those adding insurance to the cost of a purchase. For the first time, laws have also been introduced to offer a cooling-off period for digital content, including music, films and books, as BBC News reports. Consumers may now cancel an order for digital content within fourteen days, but only if they have not downloaded it.

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140 comments

Wait what? (-1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about a month ago | (#47236233)

So... if I sell a digital copy of a movie to someone... they can watch the movie then return it for a full refund within 14 days?

Why ever rent a movie again? Buying is now cheaper...

I think the only reasonable response to this is to stop selling digital content to europe entirely absent some kind of mechanism for ensuring people pay.

What that mechanism is can be debated. But you can't have people buying content and then returning it when they're bored with it.14 days is more then enough time to get bored with a lot of content.

Imagine the latest movie that you're really excited to see... would you want your money back or to keep that movie after owning it for 14 days? Obviously your money.

Re:Wait what? (4, Insightful)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about a month ago | (#47236243)

Consumers may now cancel an order for digital content within fourteen days, but only if they have not downloaded it.

RTFS

Re:Wait what? (1)

camg188 (932324) | about a month ago | (#47236923)

It seems the law is really not needed. What would you estimate the percentage of use cases to be, where the content is not downloaded immediately upon ordering or paying?
I'd guess that less than 1% of all digital content purchases would be in that category. That is to say, I'd guess that 99+% of all digital content purchases would be downloaded immediately.
What do you think?
Plus, this doesn't include subscription services like Netflix, so the more I think about it, the more I think that very few digital content transactions would fall into this scenario.
So why worry about it...

Re: Wait what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47236245)

Read the last paragraph...

Re:Wait what? (3, Funny)

bunratty (545641) | about a month ago | (#47236335)

So... if I sell a digital copy of a movie to someone... they can watch the movie then return it for a full refund within 14 days? Why ever rent a movie again? Buying is now cheaper...

But, but, but... I thought copying wasn't stealing!!!

Re:Wait what? (-1, Troll)

Opportunist (166417) | about a month ago | (#47236473)

It still isn't. Your point?

Re:Wait what? (1)

The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) | about a month ago | (#47236351)

Well, there's an exception according to the summary that if it's digital content, you can undo that sale for fourteen days, but lose that right if you actually accept delivery. An "I didn't like it!" is great info for bad ice cream, but we can't trust you if you say that about a bad song.

Re:Wait what? (2)

ChumpusRex2003 (726306) | about a month ago | (#47236749)

The change to digital data is welcome.

At least in the UK's interpretation of this EC directive (the Distance Selling Regulations), digital downloads were NOT excluded. The purchase could cancel the purchase at any time up to 7 days after purchase and receive a full refund. Technically, you could download a software package or a movie, and then change your mind and claim a full refund.

While the Distance Selling Regulations specifically excluded copyright material such as computer software, movies, music, etc. - they do so only in physical form i.e. CDs, DVDs, etc. Downloads are treated as a "contract for a service" which do not fall in the scope of this very limited exclusion.

The ambiguity over digital downloads has caused a lot of heartache for a couple of small software developers that I know - albeit not enough to try to take it to court. I'm not sure that there is any caselaw actually addressing this loophole in the current system.

14 days for a comic book? (-1, Redundant)

alen (225700) | about a month ago | (#47236239)

I can see that going over really well

Even your average 300 page novel can be read in less than 2 weeks

Re:14 days for a comic book? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47236311)

How can you read a novel in under two weeks when you're illiterate? The last sentence of the summary is right there. You don't even have to RTFA.

Re:14 days for a comic book? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47236359)

Even is modern, progressive Europe, people still read comic books and novels on dead trees. Go fuck yourself.

Re:14 days for a comic book? (1)

The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) | about a month ago | (#47236325)

Yep, that's the point where a return policy goes too far.

Re:14 days for a comic book? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47236333)

Is it really going too far when you can return a product you're guaranteed to have not accessed? It's far less lenient than common return policies on physical books.

Re:14 days for a comic book? (4, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | about a month ago | (#47236519)

And here's the point where I dare say that it will work out. People in Europe tend to be different than people in the US. We don't look for loopholes and try to rip off anyone just for the sake of ripping them off. To give you an example.

Just around the corner from here, there's an "open bookcase". One of many in this town, I may add. It's basically a box full of books. You take books you no longer want there and put them in and take books you'd like to read out. As far as I know, there is no way to track these books. You could take them and go and sell them in a yard sale. You could actually make a few bucks that way. Still, people not only just take the books they want to read, they also bring books to stock the bookcase.

While people around here go through the roof if they think you try to slight them or even go to insane lengths to make sure you pay if you try to rip them off, they usually play by the prisoner's dilemma winning strategy: Cooperate and copy.

Re:14 days for a comic book? (1)

fisted (2295862) | about a month ago | (#47236649)

Might that town by any chance be Bonn, Germany? Sounds familiar. OTOH I suppose quite a couple of places do that

Re: 14 days for a comic book? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47236785)

There was such a bookshelf in a civilian coffee shop in Norfolk, Virginia, when I was stationed there. Americans seemed to have no problem with freely sharing their books, nor did anyone steal them to sell as far as I coukd tell.

Re:14 days for a comic book? (0)

camg188 (932324) | about a month ago | (#47236775)

People in Europe tend to be different than people in the US. We don't look for loopholes and try to rip off anyone just for the sake of ripping them off.

You must have quite a view from up on your high horse.

Meanwhile, in the USA,
Just around the corner from here, there's a store with a "leave a penny, take a penny" cup. Almost every convenient store in this country has one, I may add. It's basically a cup full of pennies. You put change you may not want in there and take change when you'd like to spend some. As far as I know, there is no way to track these pennies. You could take them and go and spend them in a yard sale. You could actually make a few bucks that way. Still, people not only just take the pennies they need, they also bring pennies to stock the penny cup.

Re:14 days for a comic book? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a month ago | (#47237123)

(Looks around, spies American flag on top of building across the way.)

Thought I might have woken up in Dreamland where we got invaded by Canada. No such luck.

Our friggin library has free book bins. So do two of the coffee shops. This is hardly the descriminator between civilized Europe and the Wild Wild West of America.

amazon returns are even better (1)

electrosoccertux (874415) | about a month ago | (#47236849)

meanwhile in the US we've been enjoying 30+ day return periods from Amazon

we have free book exchanges too but people leave crappy books so its not usually worth it.
we also have a thing called libraries which are free and have 10s of thousands of books.

america's a great place bro. should check it out some time.

Re:amazon returns are even better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47237087)

Not supporting the somewhat arrogant post you are replying to, I would like to point out that there are plenty of European retailers who offer better deals than what the law requires them to, this is just the minimum required by law and 30+ day return periods are relatively common.

Re:14 days for a comic book? (1)

Cytotoxic (245301) | about a month ago | (#47237139)

In addition to book exchanges like you describe, here in southern Florida in the US we have a "Santa's helper" table every December, right alongside the road. It has a cool tent and everything. The idea is for people to anonymously leave presents for the needy. People can take what they like if they feel the need. It always seems well stocked.

I'm not sure your image of America is exactly complete. Having done a lot of business with EU companies, I'm not sure your image of Europe is entirely complete either.

Re:14 days for a comic book? (1)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about a month ago | (#47237335)

People in Europe tend to be different than people in the US. We don't look for loopholes and try to rip off anyone just for the sake of ripping them off.

Umm, have you ever been to Italy? Or much of eastern Europe (particularly touristy parts or "bad" parts of big cities)?

To give you an example. Just around the corner from here, there's an "open bookcase". One of many in this town, I may add. It's basically a box full of books. You take books you no longer want there and put them in and take books you'd like to read out.

Yeah, my doctor's office has one of those. The local public library does too. I live in the US. What's your point again?

As far as I know, there is no way to track these books. You could take them and go and sell them in a yard sale. You could actually make a few bucks that way.

Yeah, here's the thing -- most Americans, like most people in most parts of Europe, are basically good-natured folk. Most people are not out to deliberately scam other people. And why ruin a nice public resource like this for a few bucks?

But there are always going to be those who will take advantage of others (where is worst?... I don't know, but my personal experience is northern Europe is better overall than the US, but Italy and some other parts are more questionable), and the internet makes it easier, because most people find it easier to treat others badly when they don't have direct contact with them.

People in Europe rip off US people in rent a cars (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a month ago | (#47237357)

People in Europe rip off US people in rent a cars.

With there any transmission problems are blamed on operator error — whether it’s true or not.

Re:People in Europe rip off US people in rent a ca (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47237719)

Can you rent cars with manual transmissions in the US? If an automatic fails you can't blame the user, the user shouldn't be able to mishandle an automatic.

Re:14 days for a comic book? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a month ago | (#47236485)

And how many people are so completely desperate to return a comic book that costs a few cents? People who're that cheap usually are also that lazy that they rather download it, in the end saving the dealer money.

Re:14 days for a comic book? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47236647)

People only operate like cunts in a society in which they've been taught to operate like cunts.

Anyway, you don't get to return products in used condition. Good luck reading through a 300 page novel without its being obvious that you've read it.

Chart rigging (4, Interesting)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a month ago | (#47236247)

While I welcome these protections I wonder how music, movie and eBook charts will come. You could buy thousands of copies, never download them and then get a refund after that week's charts are in. Could be useful for protest songs like the recent celebration of Thatcher's death.

Re:Chart rigging (2)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about a month ago | (#47236329)

I have no doubt that the sale won't count until its non-returnable.

Re:Chart rigging (2)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about a month ago | (#47236483)

I'll bet that the charts will be just as badly rigged as they are now.

Re:Chart rigging (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a month ago | (#47236531)

Wait, what? There's still people but the makers of music that care about charts?

Re:Chart rigging (2)

tomhath (637240) | about a month ago | (#47237609)

That already happens. People have been gaming the charts forever.

RMA (3, Insightful)

Thanshin (1188877) | about a month ago | (#47236251)

Based on my personal experience, this is not new.

The "desist" period has been two weeks for quite a while in many online retailers.

(Very convenient when discussing over an RMA.)

Re:RMA (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about a month ago | (#47236535)

Law required 2 weeks already in some areas of Europe, just not all. Also, the new part is the return policy on digital content.

Even though I don't think that would help much, they'll do their best to somehow rig it that you immediately start downloading content you bought.

Re:RMA (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a month ago | (#47237541)

I can't speak for other countries but in the UK you generally have to do something to accept goods. An automatic download would most likely be considered by a court to be inadequate, and the point of acceptance would move to when you started playing the file.

Buyer's Remorse (0)

v1 (525388) | about a month ago | (#47236253)

Buyer's remorse is the sense of regret after having made a purchase. It is frequently associated with the purchase of an expensive item such as a car or house. It may stem from fear of making the wrong choice, guilt over extravagance, or a suspicion of having been overly influenced by the seller.
(wikipedia)

Sorry, I have no pity for that. I've had it before, but it's no fault but my own, and I certainly don't expect anyone to make a law to help save me from myself. (on this, or anything else really, I'm adult, why can't the world treat me like one and let me hold responsibility for my actions?)

A buyer should have no more rights to reverse a sale than a seller. What if I have "seller's remorse", I really should have charged more for that, I want it back! yea, great idea! Make a law to voilate others' rights just to save me from my foolishness!

Re:Commentator's Remorse (4, Informative)

petes_PoV (912422) | about a month ago | (#47236299)

So basically, you knocked out that comment after reading the headline - but without bothering to read even the first line, which explained it. Let me help you out there:

anyone who bought a product online

So this clearly refers to ONLINE PURCHASES. Ones where you are depended on the seller's description and require that to be accurate: neither over-selling the product nor lying about its state, condition or fitness for purpose. In these cases the seller clearly has an advantage and this extension tot he law is meant to rebalance the trading positions.

Re:Commentator's Remorse (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47236609)

you are depended on the seller's description and require that to be accurate: neither over-selling the product nor lying about its state, condition or fitness for purpose.

Offline sellers have impulse sales, sales staff pressure, faster arrangements for financing and delivery of large items (less time for consideration), packaging to obscure a product and make claims the (re)seller is not liable for, obscure rules about returns (timing, requirements), a perceived 'place in the community' merely from physical presence and longevity, and more advantages.

This law is nothing but the EU being used to slow down online retail so it can be co-opted by the established retailers.

Re:Commentator's Remorse (1)

tsqr (808554) | about a month ago | (#47237047)

From TFS: This 'cooling-off period,' during which a refund can be requested without being required to give a reason for the cancellation, ...

In other words, "I changed my mind and I want my money back; never mind that the product is exactly as desribed and functions perfectly." This new law is specifically to cover buyer's remorse, not cases of defective product or packing/description.

Re:Commentator's Remorse (1)

Mike Mentalist (544984) | about a month ago | (#47237063)

It's specifically to cover buyer's who are purchasing items that they cannot physically see at the point of sale.

Re: Commentator's Remorse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47237205)

In other words, "I changed my mind and I want my money back; never mind that the product is exactly as desribed and functions perfectly."

Re: Commentator's Remorse (1)

Mike Mentalist (544984) | about a month ago | (#47237313)

No, "This product doesn't look as good as it did in the airbrushed picture on your website."

Re:Buyer's Remorse (1)

The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) | about a month ago | (#47236313)

You can delay an offer to sell you make better than you can delay a "must act now or you'll regret it!" situation.

Re:Buyer's Remorse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47236501)

You can delay an offer to sell you make better than you can delay a "must act now or you'll regret it!" situation.

Exactly!
Wait, what?

Re:Buyer's Remorse (1)

s.petry (762400) | about a month ago | (#47237221)

Don't worry, that made my head hurt too!!

Re:Buyer's Remorse (4, Insightful)

gnupun (752725) | about a month ago | (#47236323)

A buyer should have no more rights to reverse a sale than a seller.

In many cases, you don't know what you're buying on the internet until you receive it. For example, the product looks/works good on the website, but not in real life. It's hard to determine from the website info and pic that the product is good. The size could be wrong (shoes for eg).

I think this is great for online shopping, but also likely to be abused in some cases.

Re:Buyer's Remorse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47236413)

It's abused a lot, like people buying several laptops if they contain different types of parts (for example type of SSD) and only keeping the best one. But then, Europeans are willing to pay a lot more for the same product so I guess it balances out.

Re:Buyer's Remorse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47236747)

That doesn't sound like something that happens a lot. Do you always make decisions based on extreme events?

Re:Buyer's Remorse (1)

Mike Mentalist (544984) | about a month ago | (#47237095)

I've never heard of it happening either.

The article states that customised items aren't covered by this law and I'd have thought that laptops with optional extras like an SSD would be in that category.

Re:Buyer's Remorse (1)

Golden_Rider (137548) | about a month ago | (#47237257)

That doesn't sound like something that happens a lot. Do you always make decisions based on extreme events?

It happens a lot here in Germany, people ordering e.g. clothing (several trousers, shirt, etc.) and only keeping the ones they like, sending the rest back again. It really is pretty common, people use the right to return merchandise bought online as a replacement for trying out various items at a shop. A big reason for that is that until yesterday, the SELLER had to pay postage for the returns, so there was no penalty for the buyer if he ordered more than he actually needed. Guess we will see soon if the new law (buyer has to pay for the return shipping) servers as a deterrent. For the same reason, it was also not unusual for people to order e.g. a digital camera, use it for a week (e.g. to take photos at a wedding/birthday/...) and then send it back for free. I remember reading reports about Amazon, Zalando (another big online shop in Germany) etc. "throwing out" customers because of a return rate which was too high. E.g. here is a thread (in German) in which customers discuss this, and their general opinion seems to be "I order x items and return half of them, that's normal because I want to try out": http://forum.glamour.de/thread... [glamour.de]

Another thin - I always wondered why even items which usually are not returnable for hygienic reasons (e.g. underwear, towels, stuff like that) ARE returnable when bought online. There was a TV documentary a while ago on German TV in which online shops explained why the return rights hurt them a lot - online shops for electronics etc. can just restock the stuff, maybe at a reduced price if it already has been opened, but items like underwear etc. CANNOT be restocked, they (by law) have to be thrown away. So it really makes not much sense for an online shop to sell stuff like that if it is so easy for customers to return the items - the shop has to pay for postage AND loses the money for the items because they cannot be sold again.

Re:Buyer's Remorse (3, Insightful)

Mike Mentalist (544984) | about a month ago | (#47237337)

It happens a lot here in Germany, people ordering e.g. clothing (several trousers, shirt, etc.) and only keeping the ones they like, sending the rest back again. It really is pretty common, people use the right to return merchandise bought online as a replacement for trying out various items at a shop.

That's not an example of abuse of the system, it's an example of the system working in just about the only way it can work.

People wouldn't be willing to buy clothes online if they couldn't send back what didn't fit or look good on them.

Re:Buyer's Remorse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47237593)

A friend did it with Dell laptops. He ordered a laptop when he would need it for travel. Apparently Dell will stop selling to you if you do it more than 3 times.

Re:Buyer's Remorse (1)

electrosoccertux (874415) | about a month ago | (#47236871)

just dont shop from places with bad pictures, descriptions, or with bad return policies.
in other words stick to amazon.
don't need a draconian government to pull this one off we do it free stateside because It Makes Sense.

Re:Buyer's Remorse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47237273)

I'm just looking for some car parts, and even though it's supposed to be a pretty much universal part where i need some bearings, there's about a million different versions of it. So now, i have no idea if the bearings i order will fit, because the car i have is not a very popular, but the part is used in a lot of other brand cars too. So Mr. i'm so smart i only buy from Amazon, what's your fucking solution when you can't get it from amazon? Here's an advice for you, just don't comment on things you understand nothing about.

Re:Buyer's Remorse (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47236549)

I certainly don't expect anyone to make a law to help ...

A buyer should have no more rights ... than a seller.

... a law to voilate [sic] others' rights just to save me from my foolishness!

You know how I know that you're American?

Great (1)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about a month ago | (#47236261)

"are now also banned from 'pre-ticking' optional extras"

Now do the same for free software ?

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47236307)

how about godaddy, ipower, enom and other shady registrars and hosters that add shit to your cart automatically?

Re:Great (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a month ago | (#47236361)

The ones you mention are American companies and thus does not have to follow European law.

Re:Great (1)

mrspoonsi (2955715) | about a month ago | (#47236405)

godaddy.co.uk They should be following UK law.

Re:Great (5, Informative)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about a month ago | (#47236493)

The ones you mention are American companies and thus does not have to follow European law...

...unless they trade in Europe.

Re:Great (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a month ago | (#47236431)

As soon as I see crap like preloaded orders I close my browser tab.

That takes care of the issue.

Re:Great (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | about a month ago | (#47236523)

As soon as I see crap like preloaded orders I close my browser tab. That takes care of the issue.

What if they've pre-checked a box that says "By closing my browser window I agree to these conditions" ?

Re:Great (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | about a month ago | (#47236961)

By reading the first word in this comment OR opening a web page where this comment is displayed, or its presence insinuated by any means, you agree to offer the life of your first born to Mardhamnmia, goddess of rape, torture and EULA.

Re:Great (1)

The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) | about a month ago | (#47236321)

Well, it's the controversial problem of whether an "I agree!" checkbox should be checked or unchecked when it's first presented to the user. There's a third state available in Microsoft Windows supplied checkboxes called "Mixed" that shows the check box in an "in-between" state, but I can't seem to find anybody using that.

Re:Great (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about a month ago | (#47236343)

In the UK insurance industry, this is very well regulated - the accepted norm is that you cannot make an assumption, so a checkbox which is neither checked nor unchecked when presented to the user is non-acceptable, with insurance companies moving to either a Yes/No radio set with neither options selected by default, or a drop down with no default value selected.

Re:Great (1)

The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) | about a month ago | (#47237351)

Yep, a checkbox indicates "I assume you didn't want this on." or "This option already was set by us to off/on, did you want to change that?"

Re:Great (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a month ago | (#47236541)

You answered your question yourself: It only works in one system, possibly just in one browser. It's nothing that the customer of the webpage would want (why would I WANT to let my user make more decisions than he has to rather than make them for him?) or his user would demand (because he doesn't know it exists), so it does not matter.

Re:Great (1)

fisted (2295862) | about a month ago | (#47236679)

"are now also banned from 'pre-ticking' optional extras"

Now do the same for free software ?

That practice is virtually nonexistant in free software

Re:Great (1)

sir-gold (949031) | about a month ago | (#47236935)

Different kind of "free". I think he was referring to "free(with ads)" not "free, as in open source"
Also, some download sites are wrapping free software inside their own adware-spewing "installer"

Re:Great (2)

sir-gold (949031) | about a month ago | (#47236909)

A few years ago, UK-based SportsDirect.com got into trouble with the consumer-rights TV show Watchdog, because it was secretly adding a coffee mug and sports magazine to everyone's shopping cart. When I saw the old reruns of the show last week I decided to check out the site and they were still doing this crap even as recent as last week.

I checked the site just now, and they have finally stopped.

It just proves that no amount of public outcry will ever be as effective as simply using the law to regulate business. If you don't like the way a company does things, the only way to make them change is to FORCE them to change.

Re:Great (1)

s.petry (762400) | about a month ago | (#47237269)

I'm pretty sure you are missing the majority of what a "Boycott" is. There is a part about actively convincing others to boycott the same company, in addition to you not buying their stuff. The result is that more and more people damage the companies reputation, and fewer and fewer people purchasing their goods or services. This forces the company to either change their ways to get more consumers or go out of business.

Consumer activism is critical for any society, and it actually works very well when applied properly.

Re:Great (1)

sir-gold (949031) | about a month ago | (#47237549)

It's easy to boycott a real store, you just stand outside with a sign and a bullhorn (and a copy of your rights, for the rights-impaired officer that tries to make you leave). It's a bit harder to boycott a website where none of the customers ever meet each other.

Even the public shaming that SportsDirect.com got from prime-time UK TV wasn't enough to convince them to change. (And they clearly knew about it, because they responded to the show by saying "we are doing nothing wrong, we will not change, it's the customer's fault for not removing the crap we added")

But it's clear that the law was extremely effective, because they immediately changed their behavior.

I have a news flash for you, corporations don't care AT ALL what the public thinks. Comcast and Time Warner's refusal to change behavior despite winning the "Most hated company in America" award is a clear example of that. Sometimes even a boycott (or public shaming) isn't enough, and you need stronger measures.

Exchanges for same title only! (1)

The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) | about a month ago | (#47236309)

We seem to be missing an important point of copyright law here... it's hard to take away a copyrighted work such as a movie that only needs to be seen once. Theaters have refund policies for "this movie sucks"... but too much of that and a would-be popular movie becomes nonexistent.

Re:Exchanges for same title only! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47236339)

That is why you can't return it if you actually downloaded it. But reading was too much effort i guess?

Re:Exchanges for same title only! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47236355)

Or you could read the summary, which is quite clear - you don't have to take the copyrighted work away, because this is only for the case where the copyrighted work hasn't been downloaded.

Nanny state mentality (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47236315)

Next up.. The EU informs its citizens on the proper number of times to wipe your ass. If you fail to wipe accordingly, they will provide an "ass wiper" for you or pay for ass wiping training.

Re:Nanny state mentality (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a month ago | (#47236377)

Personally, I would rather see the EU mandate heated toilet seats.

Re:Nanny state mentality (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a month ago | (#47236545)

For once the EU does something FOR the customer and still people bitch. Amazing.

Re:Nanny state mentality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47236693)

I don't think it was an European AC

Re:Nanny state mentality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47237281)

OH MY GOD! The governmant is out to get you! WATCH OUT IT'S BEHIND YOU! Run Forest run!

That's monopoly protection, not consumer (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about a month ago | (#47236347)

As per usual, governments cannot give anything to anybody, but they can force people, under the barrel of a gun, to stop doing business.

The only thing that such regulations achieve is that fewer small businesses will be online, that's all. As the cost of doing business (selling something online) go up, fewer people can sell things online, thus fewer choices, and those who can sell will have higher prices because there will be less competition.

There is nothing free in this world, all this does it makes it illegal for people to offer products and services online on terms that both parties agree upon (the seller makes an offer, but this offer is not forced upon anybody, by paying money the buyer accepts that offer).

The free market is further distorted, the majority of the masses are led down the line of bigger government intervention and fewer freedoms and the economy is made that much poorer.

The same thing happens in everything that governments do, for example minimum wage is not a protection for the workers, it is an attack on workers, on those who are not qualified to get an above whatever passes for minimum wage job and for who it is made illegal to offer their labour at a competing rate to the buyers - the employers. It is illegal for the employers to advertise jobs at below minimum wage and it is illegal for people who want to get that job to work.

It is made illegal for people to work by the minimum wage laws, it is made illegal by the law described in TFS to offer products on their own terms for exchanges/returns.

Re:That's monopoly protection, not consumer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47236457)

The same thing happens in everything that governments do, for example banning slavery is not a protection for the workers, it is an attack on workers, on those who are not qualified to get an above whatever passes for minimum wage job and for who it is made illegal to offer their labour at a competing rate that will not pay the bills at all to the buyers - the employers. It is illegal for the employers to advertise jobs at slavery wage and it is illegal for people who want to get that job to work.

It is made illegal for people to work by the anti-slavery laws, it is made illegal by the law described in TFS to offer products on their own terms for exchanges/returns.

FTFY.

Re:That's monopoly protection, not consumer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47236687)

Pretend that Government is now Government inc., a private corporation with an ownership interest in everything happening inside your nation.

If you don't like the rules which they are allowed to apply to the property they have an interest in, you can leave the country - just like I'm born into a society surrounded by lots of people who already own stuff and I can't complain "FASCISM!" because I'm restricted on what I can do with it.

Re:That's monopoly protection, not consumer (2)

sir-gold (949031) | about a month ago | (#47237005)

If it was legal to pay whatever the employer wanted to pay, the average McDonalds worker would be making 45 cents an hour. It doesn't matter how little the amount is, you will always find someone desperate enough to work for literal peanuts, therefore market pressure alone can't raise wages. If market pressure can't do it, the law has to (or it will never get done).

There are things that MUST be done (like making sure everyone is housed, fed, and healthy) that market pressures have no incentive to do. You employer doesn't care if you you are starving or sick, because when you become too ill to work, he can just replace you. It's the government's job to FORCE the employer to provide proper wages for his employees, because he has no other incentives to do so beyond legal repercussions

You have 3 options:
A) Provide a minimum wage so that everyone can afford food and rent. (current US method)
B) Drastically raise taxes to provide food and housing directly to the people who need it. (socialist method)
C) Just let the starving and homeless people die (Tea Party/Libertarian method)

Re:That's monopoly protection, not consumer (1)

robinsoz2 (3525737) | about a month ago | (#47237149)

Actually, there is another way - which I have thought for some time is the way to go - distributist ownership of land, complete free market capitalism for everything else. Basically you would get to own your share of the land free and clear with no taxes and fees - if you wanted to own more you would have to come up with some arrangement with someone else. There are a few ways this could be done - one way would be to every year divide the right to own land a few years in the future (for example, in 2014 you divide up credits for the right to own land in 2024) and then let people buy and sell the credits freely. I would keep the current system of land titles and such - but for a title to remain valid the owner would need to come up with the credits for the square footage of land he/she owned. If land became unowned there would be a system to claim it. If you had an average amount of land - you would own it free and clear and not have to worry about it - if you owned less than average, you would receive a constant stream of income from those who owned more. A big problem with the current system is that everyone has to come up with cash every month for a place to lay his head. It is illegal to pitch a tent somewhere and sleep in it without paying someone. Even if you own land you have to come up with a few hundred dollars every month for taxes or the government auctions it off ( here in Oregon the government keeps the entire sale price, not just the back property taxes). If people did not all have to essentially pay rent to someone - they would have a lot more leverage in negotiating with employers. Food and other necessities are not to expensive if you live simply - if you eat mostly grains and prepare your food yourself you can sustain life for a few dollars a month - I have personal experience in this area, there was two year timespan when I was growing up that my father was unable to bring in an income - he was completely unwilling to go on public assistance - and he fed a family of six for less than $70 a month in today's dollars. We lived on wheat, corn and soybeans, pinto beans were a luxury and we had a year round garden - and we got eggs when the chickens were laying (the chickens foraged for their own food. We did not have a mortgage, but it was a struggle to come up with the $2800 a year we needed for property taxes.

Re:That's monopoly protection, not consumer (1)

sir-gold (949031) | about a month ago | (#47237461)

The system you are describing is basically the current semi-socialist US system of high(ish) taxes on high income, and high welfare on low income, except you are basing it on amount of land owned, instead of income.

The problem is that, in switching to this system, the one group that will feel most harmed by this change is the people who currently own the most land, which also tends to be the same people flooding the government with lobbyist money, meaning that this will likely never happen (without some sort of peasant revolt anyway).

It's the same thing standing in the way of any significant social reform. The people in power want the system to stay broken, because it's the brokenness of the system (and their exploitation of it) that gives them that power in the first place.

You really want to fix the problem for good? Make voting power unequal, and inverse to land ownership. The more land you own, and the more money you have, the LESS voting power you get. Make power and wealth mutually exclusive.

You could even go as far as adding poverty to the requirement of being president. Not only do you need to be US-born, you also need to have lived in 400 sqft apartment (or less) and eaten nothing but food-shelf and soup kitchen for a minimum of 2 consecutive years (during your adult life).

Re:That's monopoly protection, not consumer (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about a month ago | (#47237353)

If it was legal to pay whatever the employer wanted to pay, the average McDonalds worker would be making 45 cents an hour.

- IF you truly believe that people would work for 45c/hour, then WHERE IS THE PROBLEM?

If you believe that people would take 45c an hour jobs, where is the problem? If somebody takes a job at 45cents an hour, it means that the job is worth it for them!

I have an employee right now, I hired 7 more people in 2 months, 4 of them are still students, these are summer jobs, so out of 4 students 3 are doing very well, they are learning well (I taught them on the job, first 2-3 weeks I pay NOTHING and that was the deal, that's until they are ready to be put on an actual project). They knew absolutely NOTHING of any use to me whatsoever.

1 of the 4 is much slower than the rest. When I say slower, I mean he spent 2 days for example doing something that takes me about 10-20 minutes and that would take any other one of the students 2-3 hours tops. So in fact what happened is this kid he came to me the other day nearly crying, asking if he could stay and work for FREE, NO MONEY, NOT A PENNY, that's what HE wanted to do

I said no, I'll pay you an equivalent of $4 an hour and you will report to me the hours that you deem you were productive.

Now, if he continues on a progression that I think he has shown over the last month, I will be able to pay him over equivalent of 10 bucks an hour in about 2 months I would say. That's because by that time he should become productive enough for me to afford his services.

You see, I am not interested in paying people anything that is not covered by their productivity, plus makes me at least 20 margin (that's margin, not markup for the uninitiated).

YOU are proposing that IT SHOULD BE ILLEGAL FOR THE KID TO WORK FOR ME

Where would he find another job like this one? Where is he going to learn the skills necessary to find a better job down the line?

Minimum wages do not hurt businesses as much as they hurt the potential employees (who end up being unemployed) and the customers of the businesses, for who the prices go up.

I am an anarchist/libertarian/objectivist, call it what you like, I HAVE EMPLOYEES, I HIRE PEOPLE. How many people do YOU hire exactly?

Re:That's monopoly protection, not consumer (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a month ago | (#47237603)

B) Drastically raise taxes to provide food and housing directly to the people who need it. (socialist method)

You don't need "drastic" tax rises. All of Europe uses this model (the ECHR gives everyone the right to shelter for example, meaning if you are homeless the government must put a roof over your head) and it really isn't expensive. In fact it is arguably cheaper than the alternatives.

No-one wants to be reliant on the government for shelter. What they provide is terrible, no-one wants to live there. It does give people a chance to get back on their feet though.

The problem with just relying on a minimum wage is that it only works if there is a supply of affordable housing for those people. Even then if it isn't high enough that they can work reasonable hours you end up with the US situation where people have two or three jobs and no time to look after their families, plus all the associated health problems that ultimately cost the state money to deal with. In the UK most working-age benefits are paid to people in work who simply don't earn enough. In other words the taxpayer subsidises low wages for the benefit of corporations.

How is "cooling off" descriptive at all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47236471)

Really, how? Why not use the proper term that actually describes this: open purchase.

HFT with gold (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47236479)

Now if I think gold is going to spike, I buy a bunch of it and wait a week and a half. If it doesn't go up or stays the same, just return it, no questions asked. If it does go up, keep it.

Sweet!

I'm sure there won't be any abuses or problems because of this.

Re:HFT with gold (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a month ago | (#47237153)

If you're stupid enough to buy 'gold' online, go right ahead.

Sales to EU: Dropped. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47236613)

Sounds great! We should do this for the stock market to totally kill the entire economic system with needless regulation. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for sane customer protection laws, but the EU is going off the deep end with "cookies" shit (hint: your browser has always had the power to NOT accept the damn cookie), then with the Orwellian Memory Hole "right to be forgotten", and now with 1/4 a month worth of record keeping for new transactions IN THE QUEUE. No I suppose it won't be too much trouble to just go and get all the payment processors to agree to a new kind of charge back system... not TOO hard, but you know what's easier? Not doing business with your shitty countries. I'm just going to not sell to you. Rather than expend the energy to comply with this shit I'd rather not change a fucking thing and just not sell to you. The volume of sales from elsewhere in the world far outpaces the pidling amount I get from EU countries. When I look at the time it will take me to comply it's actually cheaper by the book to NOT DO BUSINESS WITH YOU, so that's what I'm going to do. No, this isn't that big of a deal, but it's the ongoing hastle of maintaning changes to technologic systems enacted by legislative morons who don't grok tech. Enjoy not having products and services. I guess the EU folks will just have to "pirate" my wares (and be subject to your even more rediculous copyright laws which make selling bits neccesary, if rediculous, monetization strategy).

This nanny state shit needs to stop. You lazy fucks can't initiate an item return an item in 7 days? Can't stay informed about product purchases even though we live in the Age of Information where Search Engines exist? I'm done with you troglodites. Fuck off, EU.

Does not apply to brick & mortar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47236627)

I don't believe this applies to brick & mortar retailers. I'm guessing this effort stems from pressure by B&M retailers. It will have the opposite effect - pushing more consumers online.

A bit anticlimactic... (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a month ago | (#47236629)

First, I was like "Yay, I'm more protected as a consumer now!" Then I realized we've already had this for two years around where I live. ;/

Re:A bit anticlimactic... (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a month ago | (#47236777)

Oh, I got the date wrong: it's been actually fourteen years, namely since Y2k.

Stinks like big banksters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47236739)

The only corporations that will make out with this is the credit card companies and payment processors. It will suck being a small time merchant in EU if companies like paypal get to collect the interest on their money on hold.

ITT: Hundreds of yanks... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47237025)

... teaching us why online retail in EU will collapse.

Re:ITT: Hundreds of yanks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47237327)

It's only you and me in this thread so far, and I'm here just to post this useless notice.

ahh europe (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47237075)

you would sell your soul if it meant one ounce less of personal responsibility

Re:ahh europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47237329)

28.3 grams less you mean?

Re:ahh europe (1)

tomhath (637240) | about a month ago | (#47237621)

28.3 grams less you mean?

How much is that in iotas?

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