Return Assured Incorporated Signs First Merchant-Liquor.com

Return Assured launches first of its kind "Web Seal of Approval" to guarantee claims and performance of online businesses

Los Angeles, California, UNITED STATES


LOS ANGELES, Nov. 7, 2000 (PRIMEZONE) -- Return Assured Incorporated. (Nasdaq:RTRN), developers of the world's first proprietary B2B and B2C "Web Seal of Approval," announced today that it has signed Liquor.com as its first merchant. Return Assured's Seal of Approval will guarantee Liquor.com's customers a risk free shopping experience and the ability to easily return unwanted merchandise for a prompt refund.

The Return Assured seal of approval on a Web site instantly signifies to consumers that their online purchases are backed by Return Assured. The seal also shows that the vendor has met Return Assured's stringent customer service standards and has agreed to live up to its clearly posted return and exchange policies. The seal guarantees that if for any reason the vendor cannot or will not honor its return policy, Return Assured will provide a full refund to the customer.

"Liquor.com's reliance on our Seal of Approval is a testament to the capabilities of our e-commerce assurance program and shows the confidence e-tailer's have in our product," Matt Sebal, President and CEO of Return Assured Incorporated, said. "Liquor.com serves international shoppers in some 40 countries around the world, as well as representing over 143 distribution outlets in 50 states. Our Web Seal of Approval will support Liquor.com in it's efforts to prove to its customers and business partners that it is one of the most secure and reputable companies on the Internet, willing to go the extra mile to guarantee its products and customer service policy. With the added ability to guarantee consumers a secure return policy through a third party, Liquor.com should have a strong competitive edge over other online retailers in the market. We expect that many online retailers will quickly follow Liquor.com's example and sign on as Return Assured partners," says Matt Sebal, President and CEO of Return Assured Inc.

Apart from establishing a higher degree of trust with their customers, Return Assured's Web Seal of Approval on a Web site can also benefit an e-business by greatly reducing the number of chargebacks that it accumulates with its merchant banks. A chargeback occurs when a customer disputes a charge on their credit card bill, often because of problems returning a product they have bought. Typically, if this adds up to 1% or more of a retailer's total sales, the retailer will be heavily fined and may even lose its merchant bank account all together. Return Assured can help eliminate chargebacks by making sure that customers never have a problem returning products bought from affiliated retailers. According to a report from PriceWaterhouseCoopers, returns can account for 5-15 percent of all online sales or over $61 billion worldwide by next year.

"The main reason why up to 75 percent of shoppers fail to complete their purchases online is their inability to trust vendors selling merchandise that they cannot see or feel. It is this insecurity inherent in e-commerce transactions that led to the development of our Web Seal of Approval, which guarantees that any item a consumer buys from a participating e-tailer can be returned for a refund. Our independent, third party assurance program is the most comprehensive assurance any retailer can get. It is the only program of its type backed by Lloyds of London, one of, if not the world's largest and respected insurance company," adds Sebal.

By 2004, 8.4 percent of all retail sales are expected to be generated via the Internet, according to Forrester Research. Additionally, 54 percent of online users and 37 percent of e-commerce buyers indicate that they would buy more products online if it were easier to return merchandise and 50 percent of those surveyed said that they are currently dissatisfied with existing return processes. This is extremely significant since consumers, for one reason or another, will return one out of very 10 products sold this year.

About Liquor.com

Liquor.com is a customer relationship management, or "eCRM," e-Commerce and business-to-business exchange company whose focus is to integrate producers, wholesalers, retailers and consumers in the highly fragmented alcohol and entertainment beverage industry. The company builds and maintains relations with the consumer and also provides e-Business solutions for all three tiers of the alcohol beverage distribution system - (a) producers, (b) wholesalers and (c) retailers. Liquor.com has created a global network of retail partner affiliates by offering them the opportunity to generate additional revenue, reduce costs and build loyal customer relationships. This gives its affiliates and customers alike access to a secure e-Commerce and a custom content environment that serves as the hub of a direct-delivery network. Currently, Liquor.com provides direct delivery to thirty-nine states and more than forty countries.

About Return Assured

Strategically partnering with Lloyd's of London (www.lloyds.com) and IBM (NYSE:IBM) www.ibm.com), Return Assured Incorporated has developed a proprietary B2C and B2B value-added "Web-Seal of Approval'" for the electronic retail community that vets retailers with high standards and then indemnifies the consumer with a "no-hassle" guarantee in support of that particular web retailer's return and customer service policy. For more information of Return Assured Incorporated and its exclusive Web Seal of Approval, please visit the company's web site at www.returnassured.com.

This news release contains forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include statements concerning plans, objectives, goals, strategies, future events or performance and underlying assumptions and other statements, which are other than statements of historical facts. These statements are subject to uncertainties and risks including, but not limited to, product and service demand and acceptance, changes in technology, economic conditions, the impact of competition and pricing, and government regulation and approvals. In addition, statements concerning the completion of the proposed merger are forward-looking in nature. All such forward-looking statements, whether written or oral, and whether made by, or on behalf of Return Assured, Incorporated. are expressly qualified by these cautionary statements and any other cautionary statements which may accompany the forward-looking statements. In addition, "The Company" disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof. The information contained on any web site referenced in this press release is not a part of this press release. Merger Communications (Merger) is a media relations firm employed by the Company. Merger and the Company believe that all information in this release has been obtained from sources considered reliable, but cannot guarantee that the statements presented herein are accurate or complete. Merger, its officers, directors and employees currently do not own any stock in the Company, but have a contract under negotiation with a third party that could award stock to Merger for its services. According to an existing three-month agreement between Merger and the Company, Merger's compensation for its financial media relations services, which includes the preparation and distribution of press releases, consists of five thousand dollars per month.



        

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