The 'New Deal for Consumers' is a package of measures from the European Union (EU) that aims, among other things, to improve and modernize consumer protection. Part of this are European directives that harmonize and further tighten consumer law in Europe.
These directives will be converted into national legislation, which will take effect in phases, namely 1 January 2022 and 28 May 2022*. Since this legislation also applies to bol.com and you as a supplier, we would like to inform you about it in advance. On this page you can read about the 8 changes that may affect your product sales via bol.com.
1 – Reviews
As of 28 May 2022, every online retailer must check whether reviews have really been given by customers who have bought or used the product. It will then only be possible to post a review at bol.com if you have actually purchased the product. Because this is positive for both customers and partners, bol.com will start with this as early as week 51 of 2021.
Furthermore, bol.com has to explain on its website how reviews are checked and processed. Bol.com will be obliged to perform a check on the purchase or use of the product concerned, in order to prevent fake reviews. Also, it will no longer be legally allowed to display customer reviews or recommendations in a misleading way – for example by publishing only positive reviews and removing the negative ones – but our current policy already provides for this. Bol.com never removes reviews because they are negative, only if they go against our terms and conditions.
Sponsored reviews: Bol.com is not in favor of sponsored reviews (sponsorship in the form of discounts, gift cards, cashback, “chances to win” etc.) because a reward could potentially affect the objectivity of the review writers
Our terms and conditions clearly state that if a fee or product has been obtained through a third party to write the review, this should be mentioned. If this is not the case, bol.com will remove the review upon discovery.
This is all explained in our updated terms and conditions for reviews.
Update 20 December 2021
The change about checking for purchase when submitting a review will be implemented this week and that’s good news! We have previously communicated that the change would come into effect at the end of November, thus anticipating the date of the end of May 2022. Due to a small delay, it will finally be implemented this week. From Wednesday 22/12/2021 onwards, reviews can no longer be placed by people who did not purchase your item through bol.com. We have adjusted the conditions for product reviews accordingly.
The next step is to publish reviews that are actually based on a purchase, including all existing reviews. This will be visible in the webshop and the app in early January.
2 – Right to updates
Customers are entitled to updates for digital items (such as phones and laptops) and for digital content (such as e-books and software). You as a provider are legally obliged to inform your customers of the availability of those updates, this is also included in our terms and conditions. Therefore, make sure your product information under “introduction and support” and specifically “right to updates” is always correct and complete. As of January, smart-devices without this product information will be taken offline.
What are smart devices?
Smart devices are devices that:
- or independently connect to the Internet, via wifi and/or mobile data. Think of a smartphone or laptop.
- or require an app to fully function. Examples include a smart road scale or a smart thermostat.
3 – Time limit for filing a complaint
If a customer discovers a defect in a purchased item, he/she should lodge a complaint in good time. There is no fixed deadline, but 2 months is in any case timely. This complaint period does not apply to articles with digital content, such as software and e-books. This rule will enter into force on 1 January 2022.
4 – Extension of the period of legal presumption of proof
If a defect in a product occurs within 6 months after delivery of a purchased product, it is assumed that this defect already existed at the time of delivery. This period will be extended to one year. This rule will enter into force on 1 January 2022.
5 – Tightened conformity requirements
A purchased product must have the properties that the consumer can reasonably expect; this is called conformity. The conformity requirements are elaborated and tightened up in the law. There are 2 types of conformity:
- objective conformity requirements – does the quality meet the expectations of the customer? and
- subjective conformity requirements – does quality meet the expectations of the consumer arising from the purchase agreement?
This makes it even more important to properly inform the customer about the properties of an article, because customers can address sellers more quickly. This can be done on the product page. Partners are responsible for ensuring that this is properly implemented in your product information. This rule will enter into force on 1 January 2022.
6 – Commercial guarantees
These are the guarantees that you as seller or manufacturer offer in addition to the legal guarantee. This guarantee should be described in clear and understandable language and provided on a durable data carrier. Advertisements (including your product information at bol.com) are leading. On the product page there are several fields available to clearly communicate warranty conditions to the customer. Therefore, the warranty information as shown on the product page is decisive. This rule will enter into force on 1 January 2022.
7 – Discounts and price reductions
When reducing prices (including discounts), the provider must indicate as the ‘from’ price the lowest previous price that was valid during a period of at least 30 days before the price reduction. Therefore, you cannot first increase the sale price, then decrease it, and then refer to the increased price in your communication. However, it is still possible to set a price against a price other than a previous selling price, for example the recommended retail price.
8 – Quality differences of articles
This means offering an article in one EU country as being identical to an article in another EU country, while the composition or characteristics are not the same. This is considered misleading.
These are the other guidelines
We also ensure that we comply with the other 3 guidelines – although you, as a supplier, will hardly notice anything about this. However, it may be useful to be aware of this for your own webshop, for example. These other guidelines go into effect on 28 May 2022:
Customers must be informed clearly, comprehensibly and visibly when and how an item has been personalised.
It must be clear to the consumer whether they are buying from a professional trader or a private individual. The customer should also be aware of the division of duties – in this case between bol.com and the partner.
The parameters on which the ranking in search queries is determined should be transparent to the consumer as general information.
Keep up to date
In addition to the information you receive from us, it is important that you yourself are aware of the current consumer legislation. It is your responsibility as an entrepreneur to know what your customers are entitled to and to ensure that the purchase agreement with the customer is fulfilled. Therefore, prepare yourself well for all the changes. In our communication, we are now mainly providing information on the main points of a number of changes**.
* On 1 January 2022, the ‘Implementation Act on the sale of goods and delivery of digital content’ will enter into force and on 28 May 2022, the ‘Implementation Act on the Modernisation of Consumer Protection Directive’.
** The above is purely informative to inform you in outline about the new legislation. Partners and suppliers are responsible for familiarising themselves with the new legislation. bol.com does not provide advice on this matter.