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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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CMSE (former name: CMSF - St Francis Medical Centre) - proceedings of UOKiK

< previous | next > 01.02.2019

CMSE (former name: CMSF - St Francis Medical Centre) - proceedings of UOKiK
  • Senior citizens! Watch out for CMSE sp. z o.o., which invites people to free-of-charge tests and then sells expensive medical packages.
  • The Company conducts its operations all across Poland under different names.
  • UOKiK is currently pursuing 2 proceedings against CMSE.

I learned that I may end up on a wheelchair (…) and that my only chance to keep my health and endurable condition was to use their offer, i.e. to buy a package of medical services. This is one of the many complains about CMSF (currently CMSE) that have been filed with the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection.

The Company may be using different names, such as:

  • “Centrum Medyczne Świętego Franciszka” – Eng. St Francis Medical Centre (Warsaw, Wrocław, Łódź),
  • “Centrum Medyczne Świętego Jakuba” – Eng. St Jacob Medical Centre (Poznań),
  • “Dolnośląski Instytut Zdrowia” – Eng. Lower Silesian’s Health Institute (Wrocław),
  • “Mazowieckie Centrum Medyczne” – Eng. Masovia Medical Centre (Warszawa),
  • “Instytut Zdrowia Świętej Barbary” – Eng. St. Barbra Health Institute (Katowice),
  • “Wielkopolskie Centrum Medycyny Zintegrowanej” – Eng. Greater Poland’s Integrated Medicine Centre (Poznań).

CMSE mostly targets senior citizens. The company urges them to buy expensive medical packages that are allegedly supposed to provide a quick access to medical tests and appointments.

– I’m calling for the seniors to remain cautious while handling invitations to free-of-charge medical tests. This may often be an excuse to attract your attention to go see a trade show and induce you to buy expensive and unnecessary products or services. The tests are performed by salesmen, and their results don’t seem to be credible. So remember not to yield under pressure. Ready very carefully the agreement, consult it with your family before signing anything – says Marek Niechciał, President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection.

UOKiK is currently pursuing 2 proceedings against CMSE: due to the violation of the collective interests of consumers and resorting to illicit provisions. In each proceedings the entrepreneur is facing a financial penalty of up to 10% of its previous year’s revenue even if the entrepreneur unintentionally broke the prohibitions provided for in the Act on Competition and Consumer Protection.

Charges of the violation of collective interests of consumers:

  1. Unwarranted phone calls. Irregularities may have occurred on the very first interaction. CMSE representatives would call people and invite them to the meetings even though they did not obtain a prior consent from consumers to make marketing phone calls. This is in breach of Art. 172 of the Consumer Law. In the conversations, they would often say that they got their phone number e.g. from a health center.
  2. Concealed purpose of a commercial nature. CMSE representatives would invite consumers to free-of-charge tests or to visit the new clinic. The complainants said that no one informed them that the purpose of the meeting was to sell medical packages.
  3. Questionable diagnosis. The company’s employees would place a sensor on patient’s finger and diagnosed serious illnesses on this basis.
  4. Exerting pressure. The consumers complain that the CMSE employees would manipulate them into signing the contract as soon as possible and pay the money. They often heard that the discount price applies on a given date only and is available to them exclusively. If the potential consumers didn’t have the money to buy a medical package, the salesmen would drive them to the bank so that they could take out a loan. It was only after that they received the signed contract which they couldn’t have access to before to read and consider it carefully.
  5. Confusing caution. The consumers were informed that in the event of medical services they didn’t have the right to cancel the contract. This caution could have been misleading. This provision concerns medical services only, not the sale of packages offering the possibility of accessing them. In this case, as it is with other contracts concluded on a show outside the company’s headquarters, the consumers have 14 days to rethink the purchase and, if need be, cancel it. Having read the erroneous caution of the company, a number of people could have given up this right.

Proceedings concerning illicit clauses

These are not the only proceedings conducted by UOKiK against CMSE. The Office also had doubts about several provisions of contracts concluded between the company and consumers. The provisions in question pertain to amendments to the terms and conditions, an automatic prolongation of the contract, cancellation option, and penalties. For example, if a customer withdraws from the contract before its term, he or she must pay a heavy fee of even as much as PLN 1,800. The consumer would also have to also cover the costs of benefits which he or she has used so far. Nothing substantiates the imposition of these amounts, especially where the consumer has paid for the entire package upfront. By contrast, the company would not be subject to any penalties if it failed to perform the contract.

Consumer support:

Phone: +48 801 440 220 or +48 22 290 89 16 – consumer helpline
Email: [SCODE]cG9yYWR5QGRsYWtvbnN1bWVudG93LnBs[ECODE]
Consumer ombudsmen – in your town or district

Additional information for the media:

UOKiK Press Office 
Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warsaw, Poland
Phone: +48 695 902 088, +48 22 55 60 314
Email: [SCODE]Yml1cm9wcmFzb3dlQHVva2lrLmdvdi5wbA==[ECODE]
Twitter: @UOKiKgovPL

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