The SafeBuy Assurance Scheme
SafeBuy was founded in 2003 to bring consumer confidence and assurance to a largely unregulated trading environment.
In 2006 the Office of Fair Trading endorsed the SafeBuy Code of Practice for Web Retailers. In 2013 oversight moved to the Trading Standards Institute. SafeBuy is still the only organisation with a Web Code of Practice approved by the TSI.
Unlike other web retailer schemes, SafeBuy is not designed to be a shopping directory. Our team vet all sites during accreditation and continuously carry out 'mystery shopper' exercises and standards checking to ensure that retailers are adhering to The Code.
With over 40 million web-enabled devices in the UK, the vast majority on broadband, and online sales reaching more than 12% of all retail sales at the start of 2013, the standards required in the SafeBuy Code are a springboard to retailers who wish to differentiate themselves from less reputable or secure operations.
In the event of a consumer purchasing problem, SafeBuy has a mediation service, at no cost to the consumer or retailer, which can be referenced via the contact tab. The consumer has a further right of redress through the SafeBuy arbitration scheme run by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
SafeBuy continually monitors the eCommerece marketplace to bring exclusive offers from selected partners whose services we believe to be of real value and benefit to Members.
The SafeBuy Code of Practice
SafeBuy Organisation completed Stage One of the OFT's two-stage process
towards approval and is now officially overseen by Trading Standards. The OFT agreed the text of the
SafeBuy Code of Practice.
The Code, amongst other things, requires web retailers to:
- Adhere to the terms of the Sale of Goods Act, the EU Distance Selling Regulations and the EU Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications
- Conform to the Data Protection Act 1998
- Provide security for the processing of credit card transactions
- Include physical location and contact details for themselves on their website
- Display the total price consumers must pay for goods including delivery costs and provide a clear explanation of the delivery procedures
- Advise the consumer if 'cookies' are required for the processing of data
- Not use 'spam' for marketing purposes
- Avoid exploitation of children
SafeBuy Star Ratings
Benefits of the Star Ratings Scheme
- With increasing demands from consumers for web merchant independent ratings the SafeBuy Star Rating system clearly shows that SafeBuy members are way ahead of their competitors in consumer satisfaction.
- See what consumers are saying about you and adjust your operations to increase their satisfaction still further. Their rating of you in 10 areas and their overall comments are available to you and put in the public domain. This can do you nothing but good.
- You can use the SafeBuy Stars logo on your website as big and bold as you like. The logo has an active link to the survey results and comments for your site.
- It's really simple to qualify for the Stars logo. You invite your customers to complete a two minute survey form after you have shipped goods to them. The smartest way to do this is to just CC our secure research site on your customer order acknowledgment. We'll email them independently with the survey a few days after you have shipped the goods. That's when they will be most aware of you and hopefully very happy with you.
Here’s an example of the survey and customer responses from one of our
here’s how Weather Shop have used their Stars logo (scroll down on the left of the page linked here):
'Weather Shop works hard at delivering customer satisfaction. Telling new customers about that was impossible before the Safebuy Stars system. Now we can almost leap out of their computer screen and the best bit is we just let our customers do it for us!'
Alistair Barron, Director, Weather Front
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