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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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The "Get to Know Your Contractor" campaign is launched

< previous | next > 01.02.2019

The "Get to Know Your Contractor" campaign is launched
  • The Direct Selling Association of Poland (PSSB) and Consumer Federation, under the patronage of UOKiK, are launching the campaign under the heading “Get to Know Your Contractor”.
  • Together we want to counteract the dishonest practices that occur during shows at the direct selling market.
  • The educational campaign is directed, among others, to companies renting premises for such events.

Throughout Poland, there are shows during which consumers are manipulated. They come for a free check-up or presentation, and come out with a horrendously expensive set of pots, a device for magnetic therapy or a contract for a package of pseudo-medical services. Dishonest sellers conceal from consumers the commercial purpose of the meeting, mislead them as to the attributes of the offered products, make the consumers believe that they are of poor health. The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection has collected data on about 500 such shows in the £ód¼ Voivodeship alone, and over 300 – in Lower Silesia. But this is only a small percentage of the shows and presentations that are actually taking place.

Such meetings take place most frequently in rented rooms, e.g. in hotels, restaurants, wedding venues, but also in sanatoriums, and even schools or hospitals. The “Get to Know Your Contractor” campaign is an informational and educational campaign addressed to entities renting rooms for commercial shows. The organizers put particular emphasis on compliance with consumer rights.

“Landlords often do not realize that they are repeatedly involved in fraud. PSSB, together with UOKiK and the Consumer Federation, want to give a clear signal that renting premises to dishonest companies is an unethical behaviour, and thus to educate and warn interested organisations or institutions about such activities,” says Konrad Sza³kiewicz, Chairman of the Board of PSSB.

The first stage of the campaign aims to educate the hotel and restaurant circles, because it is in their rooms that such events are most often held. The activities of PSSB together with UOKiK and the Consumer Federation are a reaction to the intensifying phenomenon.

“We have information about more than 120 companies organizing shows, during which consumers may be subjected to unfair commercial practices. UOKiK fights against this phenomenon in various ways. In 2018, we conducted over 40 proceedings against entrepreneurs selling products or services at shows. We have also prepared a package of legislative proposals that should clean up this market. We are glad that now we can join forces with the Direct Selling Association of Poland,” says Marek Niechcia³, President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection.

“Despite many actions undertaken - legal assistance, educational and information campaigns directed to consumers – the trade shows organized by dishonest entrepreneurs are held every day throughout the country. Mostly, older people are the victims of the tricksters. We hope that this campaign, addressed to entities renting premises for this type of events, will hinder the operation of unethical companies. It will be one of the elements that will cause the exclusion of those who cannot act honestly. The scale of negative phenomena is already so large that we have to appeal to all actors of this market,” says Kamil Pluskwa-D±browski, Chairman of the Consumer Federation.

The “Get to Know Your Contractor” campaign points out that the lack of special care when renting premises for commercial events may result in acquiescence to dishonest practices and frauds. To almost 40,000 hotels and a restaurant the organizers of the campaign will send a leaflet informing about irregularities that may occur during trade shows. It will also include advice on what the entrepreneurs should verify before renting a room to a contractor. In addition to mailing, the campaign will be publicized by partners in social media. A second stage of the action is planned for autumn. It will be directed, among others, to sanatoriums and residential care homes.

Contact for the media

Justyna Moskalewicz
phone +48 22 100 32 70 | +48 606 760 808

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