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Responsibilities According to the Selected e-Commerce Model

E-commerce has gradually entered people’s everyday life. Now, it is used daily by millions of individuals to satisfy multiple needs. This way of doing business is highly regulated to ensure the rights and duties of the parties who intervene in this process. If your company is thinking about operating via e-commerce, it is important to understand the obligations derived from it, according to the adopted business model.

In this vein, the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce differentiates between two business models for e-commerce:

  1. Contact portals: they consist of electronic platforms that enable direct contact between sellers and buyers. Those who operate under this model are mere intermediaries and do not have control over the quality, or any other aspect, of the goods and/or services offered by the sellers. Therefore, they do not have any responsibility related to the purchase executed due to their intermediation. The only obligation for these portals consists of providing the necessary information about the sellers, listed in the contact portal, to buyers.
  2. E-commerce platforms: these platforms are not limited to serving as a bridge between buyers and sellers. On the contrary, they are a party in the commercial relationship since these platforms generate revenue through: sales commissions, the number of transactions from buyers and/or providing their own payment services for consumers, among others, which means that these platforms have an active role in commercial transactions.

By being considered another party in commercial relationships, e-commerce platforms have certain obligations towards consumers, which are:

  • Providing truthful, clear, and up-to-date information to consumers about the offered products and/or services.
  • Issue a purchase receipt that contains a description of the product and information regarding its delivery.
  • Provide efficient mechanisms for consumers to file their petitions, complaints, or claims and to follow up on these matters.
  • Answer directly to customers for any inconvenience or defects of the acquired products, and/or for misleading advertisements.

If you are thinking about implementing one of these business models, BéndiksenLaw can advise you.

Contact us for more information.