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Monday, March 20, 2023

Experts Warn that Online Sellers are a ‘hotbed’ for Dangerous Items

A coalition of emergency services, consumer advocacy groups, and safety organizations is urging the government to hold internet vendors more accountable for selling harmful goods.

It claims that online markets are a “hotbed” for unsafe electronics including hairdryers and straighteners that provide an electric shock risk, as well as dangerous toys.

Amazon, eBay, Wish, and AliExpress, according to the organization, should be held liable for dangerous listings.

When notified, each of these merchants deleted hazardous ads.

According to the organization, “gaps in the legislation” now mean that such markets are not held to the same standards as High Street retailers.

“They bear no responsibility for the safety of items offered to millions of customers through their platforms,” says the statement.

Because many transactions are made through “third-party” suppliers, the website only facilitates the transaction rather than selling it.

The organization claimed the existing quo “continues to put consumers at danger” in a letter to government officials.

One of the signatories, Sue Davies of consumer organization Which?, stated the legislation “is not fit for purpose” and “does not account for the significant transition to internet purchasing.”

The National Fire Chiefs Council, London Fire Brigade, Electrical Safety First, the British Toy and Hobby Association, and the Child Accident Prevention Trust are among the organizations that have signed the letter.

Children’s toys that have already been determined to fall short of safety regulations are still on the market, according to the organization, for example, when tiny button or “coin” batteries might be reached by a little kid and perhaps ingested.

There are also plugs for high-powered gadgets that don’t have fuses or don’t fulfill UK electrical safety requirements, according to the report.

It claims that such instances are just one of a “wide range of dangerous items supplied to customers on a daily basis.”

The letter stated, “This cannot be allowed to continue.”

It stated that modifications to the legislation are required due to the move toward digital purchasing and Brexit.

“It’s past time to address this hazardous legal loophole that permits online marketplaces to bear little or no responsibility for the safety of the items they profit from,” said Lesley Rudd, CEO of Electrical Safety First.

“For far too long, consumers have been forced to traverse online marketplaces with insufficient legal protection or trust in the safety of the products they are purchasing.”

The campaign comes just days after French lawmakers requested web sites to delete Wish listings due to safety concerns.

Cedric Blackwater
Cedric Blackwater
Cedric is a journalist with over a decade of experience reporting on local US news, and touching on many global topics. He is currently the lead writer for Bulletin News.

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