Memorandum Regarding Closure of Which? Web Trader

Rising Dragon Feng Shui has always been about raising the standard. When we moved to launch our online store we immediately looked for an independant organisation who could audit and qualify it for quality, service and reliability. To that end we became members of the Which? Web Trader Scheme run by the Consumers Association (CA). Sadly, this January, the CA released the following Press Announcement regarding the closure of the Which? Web Trader Scheme.

06-01-2003 Consumers’ Association to close UK code of practice scheme for online traders

Consumers’ Association today announced that the Which? Web Trader (W?WT) scheme, a voluntary, consumer-focused code of practice for online traders in the UK, is to close at the end of the month.

Which? Web Trader was launched in July 1999 to promote consumer confidence in online shopping by providing an independent code of practice with teeth. Since it started W?WT has improved the practices of many traders and has resolved over 2,000 customer complaints quickly and free of charge.

Paul Kitchen, head of online at Consumers’ Association, said:

“Since W?WT launched three and half years ago, it has received over 8000 applications from e-traders, of which 2,700 were accepted, and has successfully resolved over 2000 disputes on behalf of consumers. The scheme has succeeded in increasing consumer confidence and has promoted higher standards in e-commerce. As well as providing a great service to consumers, W?WT has delivered a boost for business.”

“But providing such an effective and well monitored code costs a significant amount of money each year – W?WT has always been free to traders to protect the independence of Which? – and as a charity and campaigning organisation we need to use our resources in the most efficient way possible. There is still a need to increase consumers’ confidence about shopping online and we think it is now up to business and government to set up an alternative scheme to build on the successful work of W?WT.”

Consumers’ Association will continue to campaign on behalf of consumers in e-commerce. It has contributed to the E-confidence project developed by DG Sanco and taken part in the negotiations between Bureau European des Unions de Consommateurs (BEUC) and Unice in developing standards for Europe wide trust marks. It is also contributing to ongoing discussions between Consumers International and the Global Business Dialogue in developing guidelines for online dispute resolution. Consumers’ Association fully supports the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for E-commerce.

Which? Web Trader will close on 31 January 2003

Rising Dragon Feng Shui is commited to excellence and would like to extend our thanks to the CA for their efforts in raising the standards in online shopping. As one of the 2,700 accepted sites from over 8,000 applicants, Rising Dragon Feng Shui has demonstrated above average standards. Moreover, we fully intend to go on delivering on our promises and above expectations. To that end we have recently acquired a Shopsafe listing. While you’ll see the familiar Which? logo withdrawn from our site this month, expect no degredation of service and look out for our new independant auditors:

ShopSafe logo

By shopping with Rising Dragon Feng Shui you can rest assured that you are getting a safe deal from a reputable and honest trader.

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