Online portal: Dispute with consumer advocates: Shein has to make improvements

Online portal: Dispute with consumer advocates: Shein has to make improvements

Shein was warned at the end of April for several violations. The company is now committed to remedying the violations complained of by the consumer advice center – and it has to happen quickly.

After receiving a warning from German consumer advocates, the shopping platform Shein has signed a cease and desist declaration. A spokesman for Shein told the German Press Agency.

“We are working with the Federal Association of Consumer Organizations (vzbv) to address their concerns.” The vzbv confirmed the process. Shein wants to “refrain from misleading practices in Germany” in the future, said board member Ramona Pop. The provider must improve its website by June 1st. The proceedings were thus concluded out of court. If a violation is repeated, the association can demand a penalty.

Various points of criticism

Shein was warned at the end of April for several violations. It was said that the provider was leading consumers “on the slippery slopes and disregarding consumer protection rules.” The vzbv criticized, among other things, manipulative designs, complicated complaint channels, hidden contact options, seemingly arbitrary discount levels and a lack of information in star ratings. There was also criticism of pop-up windows that were displayed to shoppers saying “You could be getting vouchers now! Are you sure you want to go?”

The vzbv also accused Shein of violating the Digital Services Act (DSA). The new EU directive provides for strict regulation of content on the Internet and sets out rules that all providers must adhere to. Among other things, they are obliged to take strict action against illegal content such as hate speech and hate speech. Stricter requirements apply to very large online platforms. Platform operators who violate this can be fined. The EU is investigating Facebook, Instagram and X (formerly Twitter), among others, for alleged violations of the DSA.

Pop: “Companies like Shein turn shopping into a game”

Shein, considered one of the largest fashion companies in the world, was officially classified as a very large platform by the EU at the end of April. Once designated, the dealer must comply with the most stringent provisions of the law within four months. Until then, the rules continue to apply to all medium-sized or smaller providers. Shein was founded in China but has since moved its headquarters to Singapore.

The Chinese shopping portal Temu was also recently warned and then signed a cease and desist declaration. In recent months, retail experts and associations have repeatedly called for stricter action against online retailers. “Companies like Shein turn shopping into a game that can be addictive. Consumer law is not prepared for such business models and urgently needs an update,” said vzbv boss Pop.

The deputy general manager of the German Trade Association (HDE), Stephan Tromp, said last week: “Test purchases by our own member companies as well as figures from the Federal Network Agency show that a large proportion of the products purchased on these platforms often do not comply with product safety and security comply with local regulations.”

Source: Stern

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