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Should .Co.Uk Domains Be Regulated?

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From what I can tell, any site can have a .co.uk suffix, regardless of whether the company has any UK presence. I've found this out by ordering from a .co.uk site, to find that the whole operation is in China. And now people who buy from EU suppliers are being hit with customs or VAT charges  because of Brexit - some people have been unaware that they were not buying from the UK. I think there's an argument that in order to use .co.uk, a company needs to have your item in a UK store or warehouse at the point of purchase, but is that workable?

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Online shoppers need to be more savvy. Check contact details to find out where a business is based. 

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6 minutes ago, Delbow said:

From what I can tell, any site can have a .co.uk suffix, regardless of whether the company has any UK presence. I've found this out by ordering from a .co.uk site, to find that the whole operation is in China. And now people who buy from EU suppliers are being hit with customs or VAT charges  because of Brexit - some people have been unaware that they were not buying from the UK. I think there's an argument that in order to use .co.uk, a company needs to have your item in a UK store or warehouse at the point of purchase, but is that workable?

it's should workable all it needs is for the uk registrar to make some checks on the validity of the registrant.  

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I've hit a similar problem when buying from ebay.  The seller gives an address in the UK, it says products are shipped from the UK, but then the item appears weeks later, sometimes even packaged abroad and shipped in.  With ebay though, there are a few things to look for.  Apart from the use of the English language (!), the Business Address, and the expected delivery date are good clues.

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16 hours ago, Thirsty Relic said:

I've hit a similar problem when buying from ebay.  The seller gives an address in the UK, it says products are shipped from the UK, but then the item appears weeks later, sometimes even packaged abroad and shipped in.  With ebay though, there are a few things to look for.  Apart from the use of the English language (!), the Business Address, and the expected delivery date are good clues.

Did you try complaining to eBay, return product not as described (it was described as originating in the UK etc). Depending on reason for return, not 100% sure, but I think seller may have to pay return postage.

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3 minutes ago, Waldo said:

Did you try complaining to eBay, return product not as described (it was described as originating in the UK etc). Depending on reason for return, not 100% sure, but I think seller may have to pay return postage.

It said goods were shipped from UK, not originating in the UK.  No real reason to complain unless goods much later than advertised delivery date (as has happened when they are weeks late and have been sent direct from China).  In this case, ebay has feedback where you can use.  Ebay are aware of this problem, as are most of ebayers.

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22 hours ago, West 77 said:

Online shoppers need to be more savvy. Check contact details to find out where a business is based. 

This basically. Many eBay sellers say they're UK based when in fact the products are dispatched from China or elsewhere.

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3 hours ago, Thirsty Relic said:

It said goods were shipped from UK, not originating in the UK.  No real reason to complain unless goods much later than advertised delivery date (as has happened when they are weeks late and have been sent direct from China).  In this case, ebay has feedback where you can use.  Ebay are aware of this problem, as are most of ebayers.

That's pretty dishonest though. If by "ships from the UK" they mean it is taken from a UK port to your address, then the term "ships from the UK" loses all meaning because it applies to everything regardless of where it comes from. I don't think the seller or eBay could argue that that is a proper meaning of "ships from the UK". 

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2 hours ago, probedb said:

This basically. Many eBay sellers say they're UK based when in fact the products are dispatched from China or elsewhere.

the sellers might be uk based but they are ordering goods from China and having them shipped directly to the buyer rather than to their place and then forwarding them on. 

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Even if the firm is based in China, it could create a perfectly valid UK subsidiary with a  ".co.uk. " -suffixed address.

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2 hours ago, Jeffrey Shaw said:

Even if the firm is based in China, it could create a perfectly valid UK subsidiary with a  ".co.uk. " -suffixed address.

What would that involve? 

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Traditionally .com addresses are for US based businesses, but plenty of UK based business have .com domains.

 

Tesco, Asda, Morissons, M&S to name a few. Why should they be forced to have a .co.uk address?

 

Edit:

 

Here is a list of all the top level domain suffixes around the world; very few of them have a requirement that the registrant has to be based from the country associated with the suffix.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Internet_top-level_domains#Country_code_top-level_domains

Edited by the_bloke

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