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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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UOKiK queries stores about ban to photograph prices

< previous | next > 22.02.2018

UOKiK queries stores about ban to photograph prices
  • Sales personnel does not allow to take images of prices and to scan barcodes - customers complain.
  • UOKiK has requested 25 entrepreneurs operating large retail chains to provide explanations.
  • Consumers have the right to compare prices. Preventing them from doing that may be deemed an unfair market practice.

Are you willing to compare prices in different shops and take a photograph of the price tag in order to do so? Do you intend to check the ingredients of a given product and scan its barcode with your mobile phone? It happens that the security personnel forbids to take such action.

“Stores cannot ban such practices. Ability to freely choose an offering that is best suited to the customer’s preferences in terms of price or product properties is one of the primary rights of consumers. Therefore, they must be able to compare the products, using various methods for this purpose - also by using mobile apps or taking photographs” - stresses Marek Niechciał, the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK).

At the end of January the Authority filed requests with Polska Orgnizacja Handlu i Dystrybucji (Polish Trade and Distribution Organization), an entity associating 14 companies that operate retails stores, such as, inter alia, Auchan, Tesco, Carrefour, Biedronka, Żabka and Castorama. It also sent letters to 11 other entrepreneurs, inter alia operators of Lewiatan, Rossmann, Piotr i Paweł and Top Market chains. The Authority warns that the ban to take photographs or scan barcodes hinders the consumer’s ability to compare prices. This may be deemed an unfair market practice that violates collective interests of consumers. A financial penalty of up to 10 per cent of the turnover generated by a given company in the preceding year may be imposed for such behaviors.

For the time being, UOKiK requests the entrepreneurs to provide explanations. We would like to find out if similar practices take place at their locations and whether in-house regulations concerning taking photographs or scanning are in place. We also ask the companies whether they intend to change their policy concerned with this issue due to the reservations voiced by the Authority’s President.

Additional information for the media:

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

 

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