‘Tis the season to be wary, warns BSAA

The Business Software Association of Australia has warned software buyers to tread extra carefully when shopping online during the festive season.

The Business Software Association of Australia has warned software buyers to tread extra carefully when shopping online during the festive season.

AUSTRALIA (ZDNet Australia) - According to chairman Jim Macnamara, Christmas time is likely to see a year-round high in consumers who toy with the possiblity of online purchases. As a result, more sheisters are likely to set up shop in cyberspace to peddle counterfeit or unlicenced software, he said.

The BSAA advises Australians considering purchases of online software to stick close to familiar retail brands during the festive season.

Macnamara said consumers who were interested in unfamiliar retail sites should “talk to friends” about those sites’ reputations before purchasing.

Unsure consumers were also advised to lodge queries via those sites to check if peddled software was licenced and authentic. Sites hosted overseas would incur difficulty if the consumer wanted a refund on purchased goods.

Macmara stressed that the BSAA, which is fuelled mostly on cash supplied by large international software companies such as Microsoft, Apple and Adobe, did not discourage Australia’s take up of online shopping.

“We’re (BSAA) all for e-commerce. But consumers don’t know about buying online. Educating the consumer will be one of the key facors of the etailing boom,” Macnamara said.

The BSAA’s US parent, the Business Software Association, recently ran test purchases and found that some 97 percent of software sold over the Web was counterfeit or unlicenced.