Marketing and unfair commercial practices

Updated: 2/8/2016

EU legislation provides for a black list of unfair practices, which are banned in all circumstances, while other commercial practices are subject to a case-by-case unfairness test.
  • All information you provide to consumers must be true. You are not allowed to deceive or mislead consumers in any way either by means of express statement or by omission of material information.
  • Marketing material and information which the consumer needs in order to make a transactional decision, must be clearly visible to him.
  • You are not allowed to state that a product is available for a very limited time, if such limitation does not actually apply.
  • Neither are you allowed to describe products as “free” or “without charge” if the consumer is required to pay something.
  • You cannot demand payment when a product is not solicited by the consumer[1] ie the consumer has not purchased the product).
  • You must display the total price of the product or service to consumers, including any unavoidable extra fees. Online shoppers do not have to pay any extra costs, if they were not properly informed before they placed the order.[2]

[1] “Too good to be true? It probably is! – Unfair Commercial Practices and Unsolicited Goods”, p 26. http://www.konsumenteuropa.se/PageFiles/158561/Too_good_to_be_true_It_probably_is_Unfair_Commercial_Practices_and_Unsolicited_Goods.pdf  and http://www.isitfair.eu/pdf/ucp_en.pdf

[2] ”Consumer Rights: 10 ways the new EU Consumer Rights Directive will give people stronger rights when they shop online”, http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-11-450_en.htm?locale=en.http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-11-450_en.htm?locale=en. Art. 6, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32011L0083&rid=1