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E-commerce cancellations should be embraced, report finds

14 July 2016 - 09:59 by Graham Miller

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A study conducted by a mental health charity has concluded that retailers who offer safe shopping online to consumers in the UK should do more to streamline the cancellation process. This is intended to help people who suffer from depression to undo any unaffordable purchases which were made to improve their frame of mind but, ultimately, make things worse because of the financial impact.

The intention is to set up a scheme by which people with mental health issues will be able to have a 24 hour window during which they can cancel any online purchase. This comes after the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute found in a study that 90 per cent of people with mental conditions tend to overspend during periods in which they are feeling unwell, according to the Telegraph.

This charity was established by finance expert, Martin Lewis, and its latest report revealed that 80 per cent of sufferers tend to find it tough to resist the temptation to carry out safe shopping online, even if they do not have the cash to spare.

The peaks and troughs experienced by people with mental health problems are seen as being problematic in the age of e-commerce, where people can make purchases at any time of the day and night. So putting in a 24 hour delay will, hopefully, allow those who are affected by such issues to reconsider any orders they might have placed and cancel them if necessary.

Since a quarter of the population will encounter some form of mental health problem over the course of an average year, such a scheme may receive widespread public support. And campaigners argue that this is not only about stopping expensive purchases being made, but also about preventing people from being hit by other charges related to overspending, such as the fees incurred for exceeding overdraft limits.