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Chapter 8: legislative

Authored by: Jack B. Tannerya, Miller Thomson LLP


This chapter outlines the various regulatory issues that U.S. retailers need to consider prior to implementing and launching their online website for Canada. The following topics will be covered in this chapter.


  • Online agreements

  • Online pricing errors

  • Consumer protection issues

  • Privacy issues

  • Spam

  • Appropriate copyright notices

  • Domain name disputes

Online Agreements When dealing with customers in an e-commerce environment, the fact that an online agreement is entered into as opposed to a paper-based agreement does not vitiate the need for adherence to basic contract principles. Failure to address the ordinary contract principles in your online agreement may result in your agreement not being enforceable.

In particular, your marketing and legal team should ensure that your online agreement form addresses the following issues:

  • Customer consent regarding the use or acceptance of electronic documents for conducting business; and

  • Your customer’s acceptance of the terms of the contract must be clear and unequivocal.

The most common approach is to require the customer to read the terms of the con- tract and then click on an “I Agree” option to confirm that the customer has read and agreed to such terms.

When using this form of “click-wrap” agreement, the “I Agree” option should not be available to the customer and the customer should not be permitted to proceed to the check-out page prior to scrolling through all of the terms.

In addition, the company should ensure that adequate notice is brought to the cus- tomer’s attention regarding any special terms that are particularly onerous from the customer’s perspective. For example, if all sales are final and no refunds or credits are available, such an onerous term should be highlighted or some other method should be used to ensure that the customer is aware of it.

Visa e-commerce cross-border handbook for U.S. retailers

Copyright 2010 Visa. All rights reserved.


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