Question

(a) The world post Covid 19 has created the concept of social distancing which will impact...

(a)

The world post Covid 19 has created the concept of social distancing which will impact on the way we do business. Online purchasing is expected to increase because it will reduce human interaction and contribute to the reduction of Covid 19 related illnesses. However, online purchases have created contemporary legal issues which may be a novel for most legal systems in several Caribbean Countries. You are required to critically discuss the concept of online purchases and the various methods used in online transactions with supporting case laws.

(b)

Secondly, critically discuss FIVE (5) CONTEMPORY CASE LAWS related to online purchasing at the International Level, focusing on the judgements handed down in those cases and most importantly how do you think that will impact on the Caribbean online purchaser.

(c)Finally, bearing in mind your answers above; what do you think (your opinion) that Caribbean Governments can initiate via its legal systems to enhance and protect online purchasers legal rights?

Homework Answers

Answer #1

Under common aw, the usual consumer rights apply when you shop with online business. This means online businesses selling goods and services must:

  • ensure products and services meet local jurisdiction safety regulations.
  • Should not mislead or hide costs or other details from consumers.
  • should compete fairly and ensure variety of choice on quality and price.
  • provide automatic guarantees with the right to sell, ask for a refund , repair, replacement, cancellation or compensation as appropriate if thee is a problem.
  • have the right to sell your product-it mustn't be stolen and must belong to the business or individual and not come with outstanding debts.

Different methods of online payments are available for different online businesses with the use of credit cards, debit cards and the ACH (Automated Clearing House) network. The ACH system comprises direct deposit, direct debit and electronic checks (e-checks).

Case laws involving online transactions.

1.) In 2014, a headlamp purchased on Amazon allegedly caused a fire that burned down a Maryland couple's home. The couple's insurance company sued Amazon and lost, this had been due to Amazons online model which eliminated middlemen and connected consumers directly with manufactures.

2.) eBay was also finned $1.2 million dollars in a 2012 lawsuit over practices related to its buy now feature. the suit was filled bu Luis rosado when he become fed up with the companies non-paying bidder for an eBay motors listing for which he had paid $36 for the original listing and $36 for each of his two relisting.

3.) Another issue is the competition between online sellers which sa eBay sue Amazon in 2019 for an alleged "conspiracy" to steal high-volume sellers off its platform through its user messaging system, in the Northern District of California.

4.) eBay and Chinese sellers sued over counterfeits by an apple maker, who called eBay's VeRO process a "sham." the apple maker claims eBay is encouraging violation of IP rights by allowing counterfeit goods to be sold through its platform.

5.) FTC Sues Amazon in 2014 for Billing in App purchases made by kids. In the lawsuit, FTC claimed Amazon billed account holders for millions of dollars in what it claimed Amazon did not take due care in its setup to ensure children did not spend unlimited amounts of cash in the in-app purchases.

Based on these international case laws and the transactions available for online purchases. I would recommend Caribbean Governments to initiate via its legal systems the following measure in order to enhance and protect online purchasers legal rights;

  • A minority protection requirement to ensure that the rights of the minors were protected against unlimited in app purchases such as was the case with Amazon app launch.
  • They can also establish proper legislation on competition to protect the legal rights of their customers as well as sellers and other online industries.
  • Ensure online sellers meet strict IP standards risk measures for sellers on their platforms to prevent counterfeit goods on the Caribbean Governments.
  • Ensure a clear liability is established for liability for online sellers who connect the manufactures directly and hence are not liable for refunds, repairs or other warranties available to normal retailers.
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