Last checked: 18/05/2021

Customer service for online businesses

Affected by Brexit?

To keep these services up to date for your customers' necessities, establish a system to ask and collect feedback from all your customers, and answer any comments or complaints promptly. Guarantees and warrantees on products that you sell are also your responsibility to process, and governed by specific rules.

Guarantees and warrantees on products

If your website sells goods, you are legally obliged to give your consumers a free two-year guarantee at least and to replace or repair the product if the product turns out to be faulty or not as advertised. In some EU countries, the legal guarantee period is longer.

Customer queries and comments

Your website should also include clear information on how your business handles customer complaints. As a bare minimum, you must indicate an e-mail address to which they can send questions or submit claims.

You should try to solve customers' complaints swiftly and directly, but if you cannot reach an agreement you could also suggest that you and your customers resort to an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) body. Find out more about Alternative Dispute Resolution.

To make ADR easier to use for disputes arising from online transactions, the European Commission developed a multilingual Online Dispute Resolution platform.

Click here for more information about the Online Dispute Resolution platform.

For cross-border disputes on claims below EUR 5 000, bear in mind that both your business and your customers can make use of a simplified European procedure – the European Small Claims Procedure (ESCP). This is a written procedure that does not require a lawyer.

You can obtain more details about Small Claims in the Solving Disputes section.

Dealing with online disputes

The Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) Platform helps traders resolve disputes with their online customers without going to court. You can use the ODR platform to settle any contractual dispute resulting from online sales, if both your business and the concerned customer are based in the EU or in the European Economic Area.

Visit our detailed article on Online Dispute Resolution for more information on how to enable it on your site.

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Get advice on EU rules that apply to your business / solve problems with a public authority

Local business support

Do you have questions on operating a business cross-border , for example exporting or expanding to another EU country? If so, the Enterprise Europe Network can give you free advice.

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