European Court of Justice: no Telephone Numbers necessary in e-Commerce

Article 5 of the E-Commerce Directive 2000/31/EC provides that the service provider shall render easily, directly and permanently accessible to the recipients of the service and competent authorities his details, including his electronic mail address, which allow him to be contacted rapidly and communicated with in a direct and effective manner.In a decision of Oct. 26, 2008 ECJ ruled that Art. 5 must be interpreted as meaning that a service provider is required to supply to recipients of the service, before the conclusion of a contract with them, in addition to its electronic mail address, other information which allows the service provider to be contacted rapidly and communicated with in a direct and effective manner. But that information does not necessarily have to be a telephone number. The information may also be in the form of an electronic enquiry template through which the recipients of the service can contact the service provider via the internet, to whom the service provider replies by electronic mail except in situations where a recipient of the service, who, after contacting the service provider electronically, finds himself without access to the electronic network, requests the latter to provide access to another, non-electronic, means of communication.Given the increasing number of online bookings of travel and tourism services, this decision is of significant importance for the European stakeholders in tourism.Find full text of the decision here>>.

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