There's a lot of debate, and attempts in Congress, to pass some Internet rules/laws.
1. Uniform Internet Sales Tax. Level the playing field. All Internet sales should be taxed, with one uniform tax, say 3-5%. The Feds collect the tax, and it helps pay for their administrators to track them, as well as a little for their General Fund. Based on location of the buyer, that state gets back the balance of tax not used by the Feds, and it goes to the state's General Fund. This would not be difficult with computers today. There would NOT be individual State sales taxes.
2. All opened windows, especially for any utility programs, downloads, uploads etc., would have the four boxes in the top right corner - minimize, half-screen, full screen and close ("X").
3. All sales and purchases:
b. All sales must have stated return policies, before checkout, and must be printable if not in the Ts & Cs. Return policies can't be less than fourteen days. No restocking fee if defects, and postage reimbursed if defective. Other returns, for any reason, can only have a maximum 15% restocking fee.
c. The "I Accept" must have a Comments section for buyer to protest any Term & Condition. If the company receives too many, this should be changed. All Comments also sent to Consumer Protection Board automatically. I'm sure it must have a separate Internet division.
d. Feds should monitor online companies and sales, States should monitor physical/local merchants and stores.
e. Companies can offer subscriptions, third party notices, other products etc. at check-out, but boxes must be unchecked, and only if the buyer consents by checking the box, does the item go into effect. If purchasing an add-on etc., the sames rules above apply.
4. Installs and setups:
a. Can be done in the background, by the user's choice, and can only use max 15% of computer resources. ALL downloads must show size of download in megabytes, BEFORE the user clicks "Download." The user must have the choice of proceeding or not before starting. As a download runs, it should show time and megabytes needed to complete. Any download can be stopped and the files deleted automatically before completion.
b. Folder and filename can be chosen by the user, otherwise the default is the "Downloads" folder.
5. Checkout and payment.
a. No automatic renewals. The vendor can send an expiration notice up to thirty days before, and the user can choose to "See later" (i.e. next day), cancel the product at end of term, or renew. All rules above apply to renewals, especially if Ts & Cs changed. There must be a vendor statement to the effect that the original purchase Ts & Cs apply, or have been changed.
b. All sales must have a stated return, full or partial return policy. If the user has signed up for a term purchase, say one year, then no refunds for early cancellation unless the product or service is defective.
c. Seller must provide written invoice or receipt, with a unique transaction number to buyer, and it must be printable and saveable. No receipt, no sale. This includes free trials.
d. Buyer always given option to leave credit card info on file or not, or change payment type.
e. All Internet sales must be by debit, credit or PayPal type payment. Since its payment in advance, the buyer always has the right to some kind of refund if not satisfied.
6. Seller's Terms and Conditions
a. Must show seller's headquarters full address and contact information including a valid email and phone number. Others like Complaints, or Suggestions can also be listed.
b. Must show Return Policy.
c. Cannot indemnify against manufacturer defects, or gross negligence. All data, downloads, DVDs, CDs etc. must be guaranteed virus-free.
That's enough for today. What would some of yours be? Join the site to leave a comment, its free.
Rodney Richards copyright 2014
Check out my bipolar journey with happy interludes in my memoir Episodes available no from Amazon.com, as well as my other longtime blog, ABlessedLifeinAmerica on Google's Blogger!