Age Verification on website to sell Alcohol?

Discussion in 'Ecommerce Forum' started by Adriano Di Maria, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. Adriano Di Maria

    Adriano Di Maria UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    5 1
    Hi I have a website which sells alcohol.
    All my competitors just have a tick box to customers to confirm they are over 18.
    Or there will be a pop up to enter you DOB.

    However my local council have been to see me informing me that I need to verify their age correctly and the two option above are not good enough.

    So at the moment I pay for an age checked facility which requests a driving license, credit card etc from the customer before check out.

    I completely understand that this is a good facility, however is it ILLEGAL if I was to just have a tick box for a customer to confirm they are over 18. All of my competitors and even AMAZON only have a tick box.

    I feel it is wrong I am being told to pay for a facility when I am the small company and the big companies get away with it.

    Thank you
    Adriano
     
    Posted: Jul 11, 2018 By: Adriano Di Maria Member since: Jul 11, 2018
    #1
  2. Newchodge

    Newchodge UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    9,114 2,318
    I don't know the nswer to your question, perhaps ypou should ask the council? However, more importantly, what do you have in place to ensure there is someone over the age of 18 preent when the alcohol is delivered?
     
    Posted: Jul 11, 2018 By: Newchodge Member since: Nov 8, 2012
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  3. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    7,699 792
    Amazon have a bit more than a tick box.
    Signature on delivery. Age verified? Possibly.

    Anyway what your council want from you and what anyone else does is not the same. We are all adults and 'but he doesn't have to do that' is a children's excuse not an adult's excuse.

    If your council require you to do something and you don't do it, what are the consequences? And are those consequences worth you doing what council want?
     
    Posted: Jul 11, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #3
  4. Adriano Di Maria

    Adriano Di Maria UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    5 1
    Thanks for the reply, I have asked the council and they did not say yes and did not say no.

    There is only so much you can do when it comes to online, and will a delivery driver always ask for ID on the door - probably not because they try get the deliveries done as fast as possible.

    I'm hoping for some advice from somebody who has experienced this sort of thing.

    It just don't seem to be fair you can buy alcohol of amazon without going through age verification however the council are picking on the smaller companies. I have had multiple emails from customers already complaining about the facility on my website as it takes them a few minutes longer to checkout.

    kind rgds
    adriano
     
    Posted: Jul 11, 2018 By: Adriano Di Maria Member since: Jul 11, 2018
    #4
  5. Adriano Di Maria

    Adriano Di Maria UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    5 1
    Hi Mr D thanks for the reply.

    Amazon do have signature on delivery however so do I, the council have said this does not meet standards. Also they do not have an age verification system from what I know off.

    Yes I understand they want you to do something, but is It actually ILLEGAL for a website just to have a tick box, or for a customer to fill out their DOB on checkout.

    When I asked the council this question yesterday they avoided the answer and said "we are just advising you what is recommended" not needed.

    Kind Regards
    Adriano
     
    Posted: Jul 11, 2018 By: Adriano Di Maria Member since: Jul 11, 2018
    #5
  6. Newchodge

    Newchodge UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    9,114 2,318
    It is ILLEGAL to sell alcohol to someone under the age of 18. You don't have to know they are under 18 to commit that criminal offence. It is possible that the council is telling you that if you do this and an underage person still buys alcohol from you, they would not prosecute you.
     
    Posted: Jul 11, 2018 By: Newchodge Member since: Nov 8, 2012
    #6
  7. Page

    Page UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    3,505 262
    What I would do is ring either booze wholesalers up or other booze sellers up and chat
    And see what happens if you do not tick the box to say you are under 17

    Buy from one and then ring and say your sone has done it and he is not 18 and ettc etc

    Councils/employees will rarely put their necks on the line so they just trot stuff out
     
    Posted: Jul 12, 2018 By: Page Member since: Jul 28, 2007
    #7
  8. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    7,699 792
    So doesn't meet standards of your council.

    What are the penalties for not complying with the council?
     
    Posted: Jul 12, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #8
  9. Alan

    Alan UKBF Legend Full Member - Verified Business

    5,827 1,604
    I would guess revoke your personal and premise licence to sell alcohol, as these are issued by the local authority.

    And from 'gov.uk' " failure to comply with any condition attached to a licence or certificate is a criminal offence, which is punishable by a fine of up to £20,000 or up to 6 months imprisonment." although it doesn't sund like a specific attached condition ( at the moment )

    And of course if they have sold to underage up to £20,000 fine

    I found quite a clear article on the subject here https://www.businesscompanion.info/...sales/online-sales-of-age-restricted-products
    but basically the obligation to do due diligence is on you and a tick box self assessment is not deemed sufficient - so to answer your question, you could use a tick box but as soon as you are caught selling to an under 18 you stand to lose your licence and many thousands of £'s
     
    Posted: Jul 12, 2018 By: Alan Member since: Aug 16, 2011
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  10. james_firmsites

    james_firmsites UKBF Enthusiast Full Member - Verified Business

    544 138
    Not sure which ecommerce solution you are using but all our sites are wordpress + woocommerce so if we have someone who wants to sell alcohol the recommendation we make is to use Stripe as the payment gateway then using a plugin like this: https://www.xadapter.com/product/stripe-payment-gateway-for-woocommerce/ you can limit the card types to credit cards.

    Normally limiting to credit cards satisfies the requirements since they are generally over 18 only and seems to be the simplest method. Although I would also suggest you put some kind of message on your checkout stating that other methods of payment are available for people who contact you direct (and follow that up with normal age verification manually).

    Does it hurt sales? Probably, as your making life harder for customers, but ultimately those rules are in place and the only reason amazon gets around them is because it does third party data checks which is something only a big company can reasonably afford to do.

    PM me if you need any help/advice with sorting your store out, would be happy to help!
     
    Posted: Jul 13, 2018 By: james_firmsites Member since: Dec 20, 2012
    #10
  11. DanH

    DanH UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    10 0
    Or use something like CallCredit or Experian's ProveID to check against the supplied name and address which will verify the over 18-ness of the buyer. You can get it integrated into the likes of Woocommerce and X-Cart so manual checking is kept at a minimum.
     
    Posted: Jul 13, 2018 By: DanH Member since: Jan 5, 2010
    #11
  12. james_firmsites

    james_firmsites UKBF Enthusiast Full Member - Verified Business

    544 138
    Are there any plugins for ProveID or CallCredit for woocommerce or are you looking at the expense/time of getting a custom integration. Interested as have never seen either used in Woo and would be useful option to offer our customers.
     
    Posted: Jul 13, 2018 By: james_firmsites Member since: Dec 20, 2012
    #12
  13. DanH

    DanH UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    10 0
    No plugins that I know of, this was custom developed for X-cart and then ported over to WooCommerce...it did cost quite a bit and the subscription to Experian/CallCredit can be expensive but it can be worth it. This is a useful article:

    parcelherocom/blog/voices/age-verification

    (I cannot post links due to my newbie-ness so put the full stop after 'parcelhero'i.e. parcelhero dot com)

    which puts importance on the pre-delivery options like age verification software. We use age verification software (not for booze though) for any card that is not a credit card and PayPal is set to use only the PayPal account itself and not checkout as a 'guest' where you could use a debit card.
     
    Posted: Jul 13, 2018 By: DanH Member since: Jan 5, 2010
    #13
  14. james_firmsites

    james_firmsites UKBF Enthusiast Full Member - Verified Business

    544 138
    Thanks for link, interesting stuff just shame nothing off the shelf exists
     
    Posted: Jul 13, 2018 By: james_firmsites Member since: Dec 20, 2012
    #14
  15. DanH

    DanH UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    10 0
    Yes, an official plugin for WooCommerce would be good especially as there could be a market for it, not just on alcohol -there has recently been a consultation on new legislation on offensive and dangerous weapons which encompasses knives, razor blades etc and it may be that these types of services are enforced.
     
    Posted: Jul 13, 2018 By: DanH Member since: Jan 5, 2010
    #15
  16. lesliedocherty

    lesliedocherty UKBF Ace Free Member

    2,107 283
    I just went to Asda and bought 2 bottles of whiskey online, had to select tick box to confirm i was over 18, and they let me order and get it delivered.

    If Asda get aawaywith a tick box, !!
     
    Posted: Jul 13, 2018 By: lesliedocherty Member since: Jun 17, 2006
    #16
  17. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    7,699 792
    The asda is under the same Council?
     
    Posted: Jul 13, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #17
  18. DanH

    DanH UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    10 0
    You won't know what checking they do behind the scenes e.g. if it is linked up to Experian etc then the checking can be made without your awareness. I'd like to think they do more than a checkbox as they will be quite aware of the legislation!
     
    Posted: Jul 13, 2018 By: DanH Member since: Jan 5, 2010
    #18
  19. Newchodge

    Newchodge UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    9,114 2,318
    Asda requires that there is someone aged 18 present to accept the delivery
     
    Posted: Jul 13, 2018 By: Newchodge Member since: Nov 8, 2012
    #19
  20. Vadym Gurevych

    Vadym Gurevych UKBF Contributor Full Member

    46 4
    I know this may not be a viable solution, but can you change the business address to a different location / council with slightly more standard set of rules? A tick box with "I'm over 18" and limiting card types to credit cards will do the rest, I hope
     
    Posted: Jul 16, 2018 at 10:08 PM By: Vadym Gurevych Member since: Sep 15, 2015
    #20