UK Trading Standards opposes online retailers

Written by Joe Martin

June 25, 2008 | 10:44

Tags: #byron #manhunt #trading-standards

Companies: #government #uk

The UK Trading Standards Agency is claiming that many online retailers are breaking the law as they fail to check the age of customers when selling games and, as a result, sell 18+ games to underage children regularly.

According to the BBC, an investigation lead by the Trading Standards Agency found that 90 percent of online retailers did not question the age of customers or that customers were easily able to circumvent what methods were in place.

The investigation involved volunteers between the age of 12 and 16 who worked with the Welsh authorities to try and expose the online shops which were in breach of the law by purchasing products rated for 18s or older.

The volunteers were successful in nearly every attempt to buy age-restricted games over the internet, buying 38 out of 40 items without problem.

Brandon Cook of the Trading Standards body warned that although parents and guardians have an important role to play, traders too have "a responsibility to make sure they have methods in place to avoid breaking the law by making under-age sales".

He added, "If traders cannot be sure the person they are selling to is over 18, then they should not be selling," and reminded traders that they face large fines and six month prison terms.

How can online retailers fulfill their job of checking ages with certainty? Tell us your ideas in the forums.
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