A move to ban web users being tricked by ‘cost traps’ – meaning web traders have to disclose the total cost of a product or service - has been made into law by the EU.

Announcing the legislation had been passed, the European Commission cited the example of buying airline tickets online, when customers may have needed to actively decline optional extras such as travel insurance.

The new law means it will no longer be permitted to have them 'pre ticked' click boxes on websites - users will need to accept any extras or inclusions.

Further details, links etc are at;

The new legislation follows the recent changes to law on website ‘cookies’ requiring businesses to ensure users consent to receive cookies served through their website, having first provided them with clear disclosures about the purpose and use of those cookies.

Sitemorse will deliver a solution to advise and alert its subscribers of any instances where tick boxes are offered 'pre-ticked' on their websites within the next three weeks - allowing key sectors like retail time to ensure their house is fully in order before the Christmas sales push.

Lawrence Shaw, Sitemorse CEO commented: "Consumer protection is essential, and the EU is getting very focused on ensuring adequate safeguards are in place.

“Along with the rules around the consideration and advice of what cookies you have in place, being continually aware of exactly what on your site reduces the risk of unnecessary compliance exposure along with maximising conversations whilst delivering the best possible online experience" he added.

Website compliance is now a very fast-moving area, and website owners and managers often need help to keep up with changes. Sitemorse's agility and ability to continually to keep its website auditing engine abreast of the latest compliance and visitor needs offers its clients unrivalled 'web confidence"


Technical note: The new EU Consumer Rights Directive was formally adopted on 10 October 2011 by Member States in the EU's Council of Ministers. The new legislation will strengthen consumers' rights in all 27 EU countries, particularly when shopping online. After publication in the EU's Official Journal, governments will have two years to implement the rules at national level. The approval follows an overwhelming vote to back the rules by the European Parliament on 23 June 2011. The European Commission put forward the proposal in October 2008.

About Sitemorse

For more than a decade, Sitemorse has been the world's only single solution for web content governance, monitoring, recording and benchmarking and plays a unique role in helping organisations develop their web communications against those of their peers.

Our clients operate in the public and private sector and include many local authorities in the UK, as well as small and large companies.

Our software is used to test the sites of major organisations in a variety of sectors, (for example, FTSE All Share companies, and the UK Top 500 retail companies) to compile an index of who ‘does the web’ best.

Sitemorse began by offering software that allowed users to be sure that their websites worked properly and did not have missing links. Our software has been very much developed in sophistication and the latest versions offer integration with the content management systems of our clients for pre-publication testing.

For further information please contact Geoff Paddock, 44-(0)1525 375057

Published on: 10:58AM on 14th October 2011