Menendez Introduces Bill to Protect Consumers from Deceptive Websites

Menendez Introduces Bill to Protect Consumers from Deceptive Websites

The TOTAL Act Improves Online Transparency by Requiring Websites to Provide Total Final Costs

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today introduced legislation which would require retailers with websites to provide a final tabulation of charges before online orders are placed. While many popular websites already provide final viewing pages with total costs before accepting payment, some deceitful websites confuse consumers by offering no cost tally.

"This holiday season, no shopper should be subjected to deceptive online practices. The no-tally website tactic is simply a ploy to confuse consumers and get them to spend more money than intended," said Sen. Menendez. "Before swiping a credit card at the register in a store, consumers see their final total cost. The same principle should apply online."

"Consumers shouldn't be surprised by the final cost of an online purchase," said Susan Grant, Director of Consumer Protection atConsumer Federation of America. "People should have the right to know how much they're committing to spend before they sign on the cyber line."

The Tallying of the Actual Liabilities (TOTAL) Act would expand the Federal Trade Commission's authority to give the consumer a right to a "confirm screen." The bill also provides for dual enforcement at the state level.

This legislation codifies standard, existing online industry practices. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Committee on Consumer Policy's Guidelines for Consumer Protection in the Context of Electronic Commerce already suggested online itemizing and notice.

Click here to download the full text of the TOTAL Act.

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