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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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Over PLN 600,000 fine for fake promotions

< previous | next > 18.06.2020

Over PLN 600,000 fine for fake promotions
  • The Topmed Plus company misled consumers by suggesting they buy product sets at a large discount at shows.
  • The President of UOKiK, Tomasz Chróstny, ordered to immediately cease the unfair practice, and imposed a fine of PLN 614,000 on the company.

The President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection, Tomasz Chróstny, issued a decision towards Topmed Plus sp. z o.o. sp. k. from Poznań. The company sells product sets including, for example, massage mats, mattresses, juice squeezers and pots at trade shows. Its clients are mainly senior citizens. The allegation concerned suggesting to consumers they were buying at promotional prices, while this was a standard Topmed Plus offer based on the price list used. For example, in the contract, the company specified PLN 7990 as the basic price of a set, and PLN 2790 as a discounted price. Exactly the same amount was given in the price list, but the customer believed they "saved" PLN 5,200. An analysis of over a hundred sales contracts shows that the alleged "discounts" ranged from PLN 800 to even 30,400.

Suggesting a fictitious price benefit to consumers is an unfair market practice. Surveys we conducted among Topmed Plus customers show that over 90 percent of them decided to buy because of the discount offered. Over 80 percent customers confirmed the seller persuaded them the discount was valid only on the day of the show. In this way, the company deceived consumers,” says Tomasz Chróstny, President of UOKiK.

This is confirmed by the accounts of individual customers. A 63-year-old consumer: The show is a psychological game (...) The prices mentioned by the employee during the show were highly inflated - many times. An 82-year-old: Looking at the market prices of the products I bought - in my opinion, there were no discounts at the show.

The President of UOKiK ordered the company to cease the contested practice. Due to the important interest of consumers, he imposed a rigour of immediate enforceability in this respect, which means that Topmed Plus must comply with the decision regardless of whether it appeals to the court.

In addition, the undertaking was fined over PLN 614,000 (PLN 614,548). It is also to notify all consumers with whom it concluded sales contracts at shows after 1 July 2017 of the UOKiK’s decision by means of registered letter. In this way, they will learn about the violation of the law by the company and may decide to pursue their claims.

Trade shows - advice for senior citizens

  • Be careful about invitations to free lectures or examinations. Make sure they are not linked to sales.
  • Beware of “promotions”. Ask yourself whether the offer is really attractive - compare it with those presented by other undertakings, including on the Internet.
  • Make sure your “win” or “gift” is really free.
  • Do not make decisions under time pressure.
  • Carefully read the contract and its attachments, take copies of the documents.
  • Do not take out a loan to buy equipment at a show.
  • Do not present your ID card to anyone.
  • You have 14 days to withdraw from a contract concluded at a show.
  • If you face any problems, seek help from a consumer ombudsman.

Consumer support:

Phone: +48 801 440 220 or +48 22 290 89 16 – consumer helpline
E-mail: [SCODE]cG9yYWR5QGRsYWtvbnN1bWVudG93LnBs[ECODE]
Consumer ombudsmen – in your town or district
Regional Consumer Centres: 22 299 60 90 – Dlakonsumenta.pl

Additional information for the media:

UOKiK Press Office
Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warszawa, Poland
Phone +48 695 902 088, +48 22 55 60 246
E-mail: [SCODE]Yml1cm9wcmFzb3dlQHVva2lrLmdvdi5wbA==[ECODE]
Twitter: @UOKiKgovPL

Attached files

 

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