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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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Black Friday, Cyber Monday - do not let yourself be deceived

< previous | next > 26.11.2020

Black Friday, Cyber Monday - do not let yourself be deceived
  • 70% discount on everything? Second product for free? The sales have just begun!
  • Consumer - do not let yourself be deceived. Check what you need to pay attention to in order not to be swindled. Follow our campaign on Twitter!

Black Friday - the feast of sales - will kick-off tomorrow. However, businesses have been tempting consumers with a variety of offers for several weeks now. This year Black Friday will lack the momentum of previous years, as most of the stores in the shopping malls will still be closed due to restrictions related to COVID-19. The shopping malls will be reopened as late as on 28th November, under a strict sanitary regime and with many restrictions. The big sales campaign will therefore be held mainly on-line. The bargain will be Cyber Monday - the on-line equivalent of Black Friday Discounts, rebates and promotions are also awaiting us in numerous e-stores. But do not let us be deceived.

Malpractices related to Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Each year the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection receives complaints about promotions, sales and special occasions. They account for approximately 10% of all reported irregularities. What are the most common problems that consumers face?

  • Price juggling - making a promotion seem to be a real bargain by raising prices a few days in advance to lower them just before the popular shopping celebration day.
  • Promotional "baits" - i.e. luring consumers with allegedly high discount to purchase various goods, while in reality the promotion applies to selected products only. The customer sees the information "second item for -50%", and then it turns out that it applies only to goods of a particular brand and not to the entire store's assortment.
  • Unclear discount calculation rules - instead of the declared high rebate on price, the customer gets a minor discount.
  • Cancellation of paid orders - usually due to "system error".

- A few weeks ago, together with the Trade Inspection Authority, we have started monitoring the most popular on-line stores to verify whether they are not deceiving consumers by misleading them e.g. as to the actual price discount. It may happen that one of the traders raises prices before the off sales to make the purchase more attractive by presenting the false value of the price discount - such practices may infringe consumers' collective interests, so we strongly advise consumers to stay vigilant and encourage traders to be fair and honest with their customers – says President of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny.

Consumer rights when shopping on-line

You have the right to complain on the same terms as for purchases made in the stationary store. If the product is found to be defective within two years from the date of delivery, contact the seller as soon as possible. You can demand the product to be repaired, replaced, sold at a lower price, and if the defect is significant, you can claim your money back.

You may return a product purchased on-line without stating a reason within 14 days of its receipt. All you have to do is fill in and send back the contract withdrawal statement. On-line retailers should provide a specimen of such statement. You can also draw it yourself and send it e.g. by e-mail. If you have not been informed about your right to withdraw from the contract, this period shall be extended to 12 months. The seller is obliged to return all payments made by you, including delivery costs (the cheapest delivery method offered). Doing shopping in a stationary store? The return will depend on the good will of the seller.

Please note: while exercising your right to withdraw from the contract, you will not be able to return all the products you bought on-line. Exclusions include, inter alia:

  • goods with a short shelf life, e.g. fruit, cheese
  • goods manufactured on customer's special order, e.g. jewellery with engravings,
  • discs with films, music or computer software, whose sealed packaging you opened after delivery,
  • tickets for concerts or sports events.

On Black Friday and Cyber Monday you can enjoy shopping opportunities not only in Poland, but also abroad. We would like to remind you that e-consumer rights are uniform throughout the EU. However, you may encounter difficulties in pursuing claims when shopping outside the EU, e.g. in Asian countries.

How to survive this entire shopping and sales frenzy?

  • Compare the price in trustworthy comparison websites and choose the store that offers the best deals. Some comparison websites also offer a price history check, which allows you to assess whether a given off sales is an actual bargain.
  • Check the product reviews on independent web portals, as it happens that the store removes negative comments from its official website.
  • Also pay attention to the specific features of the product, as on the day of a mass off sales it is easy to get tricked into products that are confusingly similar to a well-known brand or simply fakes.
  • Beware of ads and the information they contain, especially those that look informal that you receive in social media - they may come from fraudsters.
  • Check the identity of the seller and contact details. Do not buy if there the website lacks such data. Such a store may belong to a fraudster who does not ship paid orders or illegally offers products such as games or software.
  • Details to be checked: when the business was established, how many positive opinions it received and what they concerned, and when they were added.
  • Make sure that the entrepreneur operates from Poland or another EU member state - your rights are protected much better then.
  • Check the return period offered by the seller - in principle it is 14 days, although he may offer a longer period, e.g. 30 or 100 days. This is quite important, especially if we make purchases with the upcoming Christmas in mind.
  • Pay by credit card. This will make it easier to get your money back if something goes wrong. To initiate the chargeback procedure, file a complaint with the bank that issued the credit card.
  • If you make a transfer or immediate payment, carefully check if you have not been transferred to the fictitious website of the payment platform or your bank.
  • Pay particular attention when buying digital goods such as computer software or games - they often have a limited and conditional return option. Pay attention to payment methods for such services - often the purchase is a quasi-subscription. The first payment is relatively small, while in one or two years' time subsequent payments are collected.
  • Remember that when you make a remote purchase, such as an on-line purchase, you are entitled to a 14-day return period or a longer one if offered by the seller.
  • Also remember about your remaining rights, including those under the warranty. If a defect occurs, you have two years to request repair or replacement of the product and in some cases you may also request your money back.

An entrepreneur deceived you or refuses to pay you back unduly charged amounts? Report a suspected criminal offence to the police or prosecutor's office. If you are refused, remember that you may appeal to the court against each decision to refuse to start / to discontinue the investigation free of charge within 7 days. Use this right and pursue your claims.

In case of problems, react - report to the competent institutions. To receive free legal assistance, contact the following:

  • Consumer Helpline: in simple cases not requiring document analysis, phone: 801 440 220 and 22 290 89 16.
  • E-counselling consumer centre: in simple cases and those requiring document analysis, e-mail: [SCODE]cG9yYWR5QGRsYWtvbnN1bWVudG93LnBs[ECODE].
  • Consumer ombudsmen – in your town or district: in simple cases and those requiring document analysis. Contact details available at: www.uokik.gov.pl/pomoc.
  • Provincial Trade Inspection Authority Offices: in simple cases and those requiring document analysis. Contact details available at: www.uokik.gov.pl/wiih.
  • European Consumer Centre: in cross-border cases involving vendors from the European Union, the United Kingdom, Norway and Iceland. Website: konsument.gov.pl.

For more information, visit www.prawakonsumenta.uokik.gov.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

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

Consumer support in cross-border disputes:

Phone: +48 22 55 60 600
Consumer inquiries: [SCODE]RUNDTkVULVBMQGVjLmV1cm9wYS5ldQ==[ECODE]
E-mail: [SCODE]aW5mb0Brb25zdW1lbnQuZ292LnBs[ECODE]

Attached files

 

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