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InSITE: Listing

Volume: 9 Number: 2

Title: EConsumer.gov

Source/Sponsoring Agency: econsumer.gov

URL: http://www.econsumer.gov/

Date Checked: 9/1/2003      Status: Active

Date Annotated: 9/1/2003

Topics: Commercial Law; Consumer Protection Law; Administrative Law;

Other keywords: Global Commerce

Contents: Econsumer.gov is the effort of fourteen countries, including the United States, to respond to multinational Internet fraud and to build consumer confidence in global e-commerce while enhancing consumer protection. On the site, a consumer can report a complaint about a particular online business. This complaint may be entered into the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's Consumer Sentinel complaint database. As well, it may be accessed by law enforcement and regulatory agencies in International Consumer Protection Enforcement Network (ICPEN) -member countries. While the site states that there is no guarantee that a country will act upon a complaint, it does assert that governments "may use this information to investigate suspect companies and individuals, uncover new scams, and spot trends in fraud." The site also provides advice on resolving complaints including information on trust seals and escrows, payment card protections, and alternative dispute resolution. Contact information and other general consumer protection information is provided for each ICPEN-member country. Helpful shopping tips are provided, with many specific to e-commerce. An interesting tool is the "Shopping Assistant." It allows the user to answer yes/no questions against information found on a business's web site. If the user answers "no" to a question, the assistant explains the potential issues that may exist with the business. If your interest is recent consumer complaint trends, the site provides graphs and charts of these trends in PDF format. Overall, the site is clear and well-organized. The various components are linked on the left-hand side, and the site is available in English, Spanish, German, French, and Korean.

Author of Annotation: M. Morrison


Last Modified: 6/20/2012