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Subject: Re: UKNM: Which webtrader scheme
From: Stefan Magdalinski
Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2000 11:17:22 GMT

Steve Johnston wrote:
> Okay, I can't resist this thread any longer.
> As a former Director of Development at the IMRG ( Interactive Media in
> Retail Group http://www.imrg.org/ - all round good egg industry body
> promoting standards and all that) I feel suitably qualified to contribute
> this matter.
> When you learn that the Which Web Trader scheme was concocted by the
> Consumers Association' s Commercial Director (slight paradox that) - a man

The problem with all these schemes is that they undermine and confuse
that which they wish to promote. I'd, as a consumer, no more trust the
IMRG than a stranger I met in the street, because I've never heard of
them. On the other hand, less than scrupulous retailers are drawn to
them because they need to buy whatever credibility they can lay their
hands on.

Consumers, contrary to popular belief, are not stupid, and see this kind
of well-intentioned but flawed stuff a mile off.

What makes me trust an online retailer? good previous experience. what
next makes me trust an online retailer? good word of mouth. what's next?
a non-broken site, in correct english, with 'https' in front of the
order form url.

what makes me suspicious? a pokey gif from some obscure 'trustworthy'

the obvious thing for Which to do (given their background), would be a
user-created ratings site, which is also what http://www.shopsmart.com
would do, if they were brave enough to give ANYONE less than 3 out of 5,
or if the reviews related to the quality of the sites in any way:

I just did a quick browse: a site that was completely and utterly broken
and a high street brand that was 'closed', got 4 out of 5, but a site
selling domestic appliance spares gets a hammering for not having good
enough descriptions of washing machine belts (but still 3 out of 5)

There is an element of potluck though that no amount of gif-brandishing
will fix. the site that Alice complained about last week (
http://www.householdappliancesdirect.co.uk/ )

were absolutely bloody fantastic when I bought my vacuum cleaner

/** Stefan Magdalinski, computin
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  Re: UKNM: Which webtrader scheme, Ian Fenn
  Re: UKNM: Which webtrader scheme, Steve Johnston

  Re: UKNM: Which webtrader scheme, Steve Johnston

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