Retail Solutions Briefs

Retail Solutions Briefs

'Low-Cost' dealers chastised over free PCsOfficials at the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have hammered some mega e-retailers for deceptive online ads pushing cheap PCs.

Named in the recent FTC lawsuit, settled by the online retailers, were, Office Depot and Value America.

At issue were confusing rebates for inexpensive or "free" PCs predicated on the purchase of lengthy Internet service agreements with ISPs.

FTC issued orders to prohibit further "misrepresentation" of those vendors' PC costs. Also, the agency has mandated that vendors disclose the full price including the cost of attached products or services.

FTC's consent agreements require the retailers to tell consumers in the process of purchasing a low-cost PC what it costs to cancel the Internet service that they agree to. Retailers must also disclose long-distance calls tacked on for use of an Internet service.

Failed dot-coms threaten consumer privacyConsumer privacy could be the latest casualty in the dot-com shakeout, as failing companies look to sell customer lists in liquidation sales.

TRUSTe, a nonprofit organisation that encourages good privacy practices by awarding sites with seals of approval, has announced it is planning to file a brief in bankruptcy court that will decide whether failed e-tailer can sell its customer lists.

Toysmart has announced it is selling its assets, including customer lists and databases. However, selling the customer information to a third party violates the online company's agreement with TRUSTe.

The hearing in bankruptcy court is scheduled for July, Nokia expand mobile shopping to is taking its mobile shopping service to the German market. In a joint announcement with mobile-phone maker Nokia, amazon said users of wireless application protocol (WAP)- enabled phones can now shop from the company's online catalogue.

The service mirrors a similar program launched in the UK in February.

The service is available to all WAP-enabled phone users and non-Nokia users can access the new service via amazon's Web site, according to the

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