Study: Online Shopping in UK Lacks Service

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Internet shopping still has a long way to go in the United Kingdom, according to a study released yesterday by England's Trading Standards Institute.


The organization made online purchases from 102 companies based in the UK. It found that 38 percent of orders did not arrive on time and 17 percent did not arrive at all.


Items failed to arrive for various reasons, including computer system crashes, companies disappearing, items out of stock or orders forgotten.


Among the findings:


• Among the companies surveyed, 25 percent of the sites were not secure, allowing for access to credit card numbers and other sensitive data.


• A national flower delivery chain failed to deliver a bouquet, yet charged the customer anyway.


• A vitamin supplier e-mailed credit card details.


• A clothing and accessory company delivered sunglasses bearing no resemblance to the pair purchased online.


• A company charged $15 to deliver a computer mouse 15 miles away.


On the positive side, many small businesses tested well by delivering goods within 24 hours and offering 30-day return policies.

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