The growth in popularity of online pharmacies provides further evidence of the extent to which people are now seeking convenience-but while most of these websites are reputable and legitimate, many are not-according to claims by Rowlands Pharmacy.
Category : Stocks
A third of the UK’s biggest shopping websites are flouting laws designed to protect customers who need to return goods, according to the Office of Fair Trading.
Read this article: VIDEO: Online returns: your rights explained
Traders ranging from online dating websites to gyms use recurring payments, but some are failing to make the system clear to customers.
Originally posted here: Repeat payments ‘not made clear’
Consumers’ lack of trust in some price comparison websites means that they miss out on potential savings, a regulator says.
Continued here: Trust lacking in comparison sites
Online retailer move to circumvent some tax charges follows chancellor clamped down on products sent via Channel Islands
One of Britain’s most successful online retailers, whose investors include high-profile businessmen, has found a controversial way to avoid George Osborne’s clampdown on VAT-avoiding websites selling DVDs, console games and other goods.
Cheshire-based The Hut Group was one of the most active online businesses in a £500m-plus trade in VAT-free goods shipped from the Channel Islands until April of this year. It ran parts of Tesco’s and Asda’s websites as well as operating a major store on Amazon under its Gzoop brand. The Hut’s investors included the former Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy and ex-chief executive of Marks & Spencer Sir Stuart Rose.
But the business was hit when the chancellor announced plans to stamp out such industrial-scale exploitation of European VAT loopholes by companies working through the Channel Islands. He said the dodge had to be stopped because it was costing £130m a year in lost UK tax receipts and “has been used by large companies to undercut shops on our high street”.
Now the Guardian has seen evidence that The Hut – which last year saw sales jump almost 70% to £142m – has closed its warehouse in Guernsey only to shift some operations to a site outside Chicago. This follows the chancellor’s decision to remove low-value consignment relief (LVCR) from products shipped via the Channel Islands.
The Hut no longer works with Tesco or Asda, but has expanded the zavvi.com brand which it acquired from administrators three years ago following the failure of the high street CD and DVD chain store of the same name, previously trading as Virgin Megastore.
Since Osborne’s crackdown, which came into force in April, The Hut has even bought goods from suppliers, several in Britain, before sending them on a 7,000-mile round trip to the US before they reach customers in Britain. Shipments have included products, such as games and DVDs, which carry an age recommendation from the British Board of Film Classification, raising questions about why The Hut should ever choose to hold this stock in the US.
Such convoluted arrangements mean The Hut does not have to charge VAT to UK customers buying goods for less than £15, the threshold under which LVCR applies.
Asked what might be the commercial purpose of sending goods on a circular journey via the US, The Hut said in a statement that its delivery process “prioritises speed of order and customer service”.
It added: “We operate a global consolidated stock system mirroring that of many of our e-commerce peers. This allows us to fulfil orders based on immediate stock availability across all of our warehouses. As a result, stock held in the UK fulfils both UK and international orders and similarly, stock held in the US fulfils both US, UK and international orders, with availability of stock the determining factor.”
The company said goods representing only 13% of total revenue had been shipped from the US so far this year, while 30% of sales were to customers outside Britain.
This month John Lewis chief executive, Andy Street, delivered the most outspoken attack to date from a British business leader railing against the tax loopholes being exploited by multinational rivals. “Our customers expect around a fair and level playing field and I suspect our customers do think both companies should be treated in the same way,” he said.
He added the government needs to do more to prevent the likes of online retailer Amazon “destroying the UK tax base”. The Treasury estimated widespread exploitation of LVCR by web and mail order firms was costing the taxpayer £130m a year before the loophole was closed for the Channel Islands, from where almost all these websites had been shipping goods.
The chancellor hoped to prevent further millions leaking from the exchequer before Christmas, traditionally the period during which DVD and games retailers expect to make about 40% of their annual sales.
There is growing concern that others have joined The Hut in moving to other non-EU jurisdictions where the loophole still exists. Switzerland is thought to be an alternative being used by websites. Aware this was a possibility, the chancellor has already made clear he would remove LVCR from other countries if websites were found to be using them as a base for tax avoidance.
The Hut founder, Matt Moulding, a former executive in John Caudwell’s Phone4U empire, had hired investment bankers from Rothschild to prepare the company for a float last year, though the plan for a stock market listing was put on hold.
Moulding’s main backer at The Hut is dotcom venture capital firm Balderton Capital, which has backed companies including Betfair and Wonga.com. Also on the share register is the group’s chairman Angus Monro, best known for running Matalan and Poundstretcher.
Monro is a friend of Rose and of Terry Green, the former Debenhams and Tesco executive, who also holds shares in The Hut.
The regulator Ofgem warns energy firms not to shield information about complaints from the public, saying it must be easily available on their websites.
Read the rest here: Ofgem warning on complaints data
Brazilian newspapers decide to pull out of Google News, saying the search engine refuses to pay for content and takes traffic away from their websites.
Read the original here: Brazil papers pull out of Google
October 4, 2012
Andiamo Corporation (ANDI) To Receive Coverage on Yahoo Finance and Edgar I-Metrix
St. Petersburg, FL – Andiamo Corporation(PINKSHEETS: ANDI) Announced today that coverage of its financial reports will be displayed by additional financial websites.
“With our newest year end filing (July 31), we will be posting our filings with OTC in a format that will allow our financial information to be available on sites such as Yahoo Finance, Edgar’s I-Metrix and other financial websites, according to the OTC representative.
By allowing the Edgar system to extract and publish this critical information it will make our company much more transparent and visible to many more resources and potential shareholders.
Facebook places adverts on third-party apps and mobile websites in the US as part of a test of a way to boost earnings.
Read the rest here: Facebook trials mobile ad system