Posted in Consumer Law

Versoepeling voorwaarden hotelboekingssites leidt tot gevarieerder aanbod

One of the further reason to praise Competition Law.

Expedia and Booking deployed T&Cs which demanded their hotels to provide the lowest price ever only on their respective platforms. This would imply that a given hotel had to offer a higher price even on its own website. Furthermore, this would impede the hotel from being hosted on another platform, since a higher price would hardly be feasible.

The EU Competition authority stepped in in 2014 and demanded such companies to ease their T&Cs which indeeed take place but was not made known to 50% of the hotels in Europe (40% in the NL).

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Posted in Consumer Law

Online vakanties boeken: Commissie en instanties voor consumentenbescherming pakken misleidende boekingswebsites aan

235 onlie flight comparator out of 352 have been found unreliable by the EU Commission and EU consumer protection authoroities.

  • In 30% Of the cases, the first price is not the same as the final one,
  • In 20% of the case the promotional offers were not available
  • in 30% of the cases, it was unclear what was the total and how it was calculated
  • in 25% of the cases it was not reported that the popup message referring to the last available room (“Hurry up, only 1 room left”), actaully referred only to that platform and not to the overall avilability.
  • In 22,7% of the cases there was not enough informaiton about the website and the company behind it.

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Posted in Consumer Law

Reclamecode Social Media: regels voor gesponsorde content op sociale media

Netherlands (at the forefront, once again): the law on advertising does apply also to vloggers. Up to now, vloggers could escape such regulations but will now need to, among the others:

  • let users recognise their advertising
  • not misled users
  • not damage confidence in a given industry

I’m so looking forward to the first lawsuit against a vloggers for erroneous/misleading/tarnishing vide on a given product.

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Posted in Consumer Law

Geen extra kosten naast de gebruikelijke belkosten voor een servicelijn

The Netherlands: how often have you called a customer service and heard that the cost of the call will be “1 euro plus normal calling tariefs”? How often have you heard it easily phrased?

According to the EUCJ, this has to be twisted (in favour of consumers).

Firstly, the 1 Euro must already include the normal tariff (therefore it may amount to less than 1 euro).

Secondly, such calls directed to 09xx numbers can only be valid to prospective customers.
Those who have already engaged in a contract (i.e. a purchase), must be given a normal telephone number, since a higher fee may discourage them from pursuing their queries.

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Posted in Consumer Law

Europese Commissie en consumenteninstanties van lidstaten vragen sociale media zich aan EU-consumentenregels te houden

Twitter and Google+ had already been informed in Nov 2016, but two issues are bothering EU consumers and worrying the EU Commission:

  • unfair terms (legal venue for litigation, rights waive, lol, unilateral amendment(s), unlimitd power to remove content, termination and further breaches of art. 3 and 5 of the Consumer code), and
  • scams and frauds targeting users

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Posted in Arbitration Law, Consumer Law

Important changes regarding consumer arbitration introduced

Poland: a law recently approved on 17th Jan 2017 intertwines Consumer Law and Arbitration.

Here, an arbitration agreement in a contract with a consumer is presumed to be an unfair contract term and it can only be concluded in writing after the dispute emerges. An additional requirement imposes the parties to acknowledge that they are aware of arbitration’s effects, in particular of the binding effect of the arbitral award or settlement after the state court enforces or recognises them

No exchange of means of communication that enables its content to be recorded is allowed.

You can find some considerations on which Arbitration agreements can harm consumer rights by browsing my previous post in the Arbitration section.

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Posted in Consumer Law, Food and Drugs Law

What Coca-Cola Can and Cannot Say

Never make “healthiness” claims on the food you sell unless you are backed-up by science.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest alleges Coca-Cola falsely “represented (…) that sugar-sweetened beverages are not linked to obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease”, thus leading to false, misleading or unsupported messages.

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