COMMERCIAL PRACTICE IS THE ACTIVITY, or lack thereof, a METHOD OR PRESENTATION, COMMERCIAL COMMUNICATION, INCLUDING ADVERTISING OF A TRADER OR SERVICE PROVIDER, WHICH IS DIRECted TO THE CONSUMER.
A trading practice is unfair if it is contrary to the trader's business due to diligence requirements and, concerning a good or service, distorts or is likely to distort the average consumer's economic behavior.
The use of an unfair trading technique is prohibited before, after and during the transaction. In particular, unfair or aggressive trading practices are harmful to consumers.
A MISLEADING TRADING PRACTICE IS BOTH the ACTIVITY and the lack of it.
Misleading commercial practices are commercial practices that convey false information to the consumer or present the correct information that is likely to mislead the consumer because it is unclear, incomprehensible, or ambiguous. Nor should the consumer be left with important information that they need to know and help them make a purchase decision.
Information is incorrect if it contains incorrect details of the following nature (for example):
- the existence, nature, main characteristics of the goods or services;
- the extent of the trader's obligations and the consumer's rights, including the right to demand a replacement or to receive compensation per the Law of Obligations Act;
- the existence of a specific price advantage;
- the need for maintenance, spare parts, replacement, or repair.
The Consumer Protection Act contains descriptions of misleading and aggressive commercial practices, the use of which is always and in all circumstances prohibited.
It is always misleading and forbidden to:
- decoy advertising;
- decoy sales;
- state that the goods are available for a limited time only;
- present the rights conferred on the consumer by law as a specific feature of the trader's offer;
- indicate the risk that the consumer or their family will be endangered by not purchasing the goods or services;
- state that the trader intends to cease trading;
- claim that the goods cure diseases;
- offer the goods "free of charge" if the consumer has to pay for costs other than the unavoidable costs of responding to the offer and receiving the goods.
Also, any pyramid scheme where the consumer has to pay money to participate and is allowed to receive compensation in return for other consumers' inclusion in the system is prohibited.
The law also prohibits using aggressive trading techniques that restrict the consumer's freedom of choice due to harassment, coercion, or undue influence by the trader. It is prohibited, for example, to give the impression that the consumer cannot leave before concluding the contract, to make consistent and unsolicited offers by telephone, fax, or e-mail, to charge for unsolicited goods sent to the consumer, to visit the consumer's home and not consider leaving.
NB! THE PROHIBITION OF An UNFAIR TRADING PRACTICE DOES NOT automatically mean THE INVALIDITY OF THE TRANSACTION made in the result.
For example, if a trader misrepresents information about a product to a consumer, it is a misleading commercial practice that is prohibited, but the sales made from such a commercial practice are not void. A consumer who has suffered damage as a result of an unfair commercial practice has the opportunity to take legal action or apply to the Consumer Disputes Committee.
Last updated: 08.04.2021