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Last Build Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2018 11:26:19 +0200

 



T-Mobile advertisements - decision of UOKiK

Mon, 16 Apr 2018 15:56:35 +0200

The advertisements used by T-Mobile in its campaign “The first true no limit” concerning the Heyah network was liable to mislead consumers. The advertisements used by T-Mobile in its campaign “The first true no limit” concerning the Heyah network was liable to mislead consumers. The operator displayed the price of PLN 49.98 and concealed the fact that it was limited to 3 months only and applied only if customers agreed to receive marketing communication and electronic invoices. The network owner, the T-Mobile company, voluntarily undertook to grant compensation to consumers who took advantage of the promotional offer. Between 21 July and 30 September 2015, T-Mobile Polska conducted an advertising campaign on television, the radio and the internet under the banner of “The first true no limit”. It encouraged clients to take advantage of unlimited domestic telephone calls, text messages, multimedia messages and data transfer as part of the SMART XL package for Heyah subscribers. The advertisements enticed customers with the price of PLN 49.98. However, the radio and internet versions failed to include the information that after 3 months the amount of PLN 19.99 would be added to the subscription as a fee for the unlimited data transfer, while the television version displayed it in an illegible manner (small white font against a light-coloured background) The situation was identical in the case of the information that the price of PLN 49.98 included discounts for agreements to receive marketing communication (PLN 4.99) and electronic invoices (PLN 4.99). After seeing or hearing the advertisement, clients might have been unaware that if they failed to grant such consents, they would be obliged to pay more – PLN 59.96 for the first 3 months and PLN 79.95 afterwards. “These advertisements were liable to mislead consumers about the actual, total fee for all services. If a price is subject to any limitations, such as time limitations, consumers must know about it. Otherwise they may mistakenly believe that the amount specified in the advertisement is exceptionally attractive when in fact they received incomplete information,” says Marek Niechciał, President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK). Moreover, it should be noted that in the impugned decisions T-Mobile emphasised the fairness of its offer in comparison with other telecommunications operators. For example, the radio commercial “Everything/Kiss” had the speaker read the following message: “Others promise you unlimited everything. WE CLARIFY! Not everything if it’s only calls while your data transfer is limited. But Heyah subscribers can take advantage of THE FIRST TRUE NO LIMIT for everything for 49.98! Buy on heyah.pl. At the same time, the message lacks any information about the fact that the price applies only for a limited time and on condition that certain consents are granted. UOKiK concluded that the practices of the company may have infringed the collective interests of consumers. T-Mobile avoided a fine as it had ceased broadcast of the advertisements impugned by the President of UOKiK and undertook to remove the effects of its practices. Have you signed an agreement under the offer “The first true no limit for data transfer, telephone calls, text messages and multimedia messages” available for the SMART XL package for Heyah subscribers? If you have not terminated it yet, you can expect: removal of the obligation to pay the fee for unlimited data transfer (PLN 19.99 per month) for the remaining term of your agreement, that is until you terminate it, as well as reimbursement of the fees you have paid until now for this service, a monthly discount of PLN 4.99 for the remaining term of your agreement, even if you did not agree to receive invoices in electronic form only, as well as reimbursement of the amounts you[...]



"Twoja Telekomunikacja" telecommunications company fined for pln 1.5 million

Mon, 16 Apr 2018 12:08:27 +0200

Twoja Telekomunikacja is a company which would pose as the existing service provider in order to induce consumers to sign a contract.   Twoja Telekomunikacja is a company which would pose as the existing service provider in order to induce consumers to sign a contract. The company also made it difficult for consumers to cancel existing contracts. The President of UOKiK imposed a penalty in the amount of PLN 1.5 million on the telecommunications service provider. The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection received 600 complaints from consumers, consumer ombudsmen and landline service providers concerning the activities of the company known as Twoja Telekomunikacja (TT). Employees of the company would visit consumers at their homes, under the pretext of presenting new offers, lower subscription fees or changing existing devices to new, digital ones.”We have received numerous complaints from elderly people and their families. The representatives of TT did not inform their consumers that signing the documents provided was tantamount to changing their telecommunications service provider. They also failed to notify the clients that the lower subscription fees would only be applicable for a period of two months. Doing so, they were guilty of non-performance of the most basic information duties” – says Marek Niechciał, President of UOKiK. “Twoja Telekomunikacja is a company which employs aggressive tactics to gain new customers. These are the type of activities that I have to condemn. The employees of TT tell their customers that they are carrying out a “nationwide digitalisation campaign”, which requires the existing analogue telephones to be replaced with digital ones. Placing one’s signature on the receipt of the new phone, however, is tantamount to the change of service provider. Despite numerous consumer complaints, the company refused to change its practices. I have been unable to identify any extenuating circumstances in the present case” – Mr Niechciał adds. The Competition Authority called the following practices into question: Posing as existing telecommunications service provider. The company’s phone consultants would mostly call elderly landline phone owners, misleading them into thinking that they were, in fact, talking to representatives of their existing service provider. An example of a consumer complaint: Most importantly, he did not give me the contract at all. The courier said that I didn’t need any, because it was all about reducing my subscription fee. I was unaware of the fact that I was signing a deal with some completely different company. It was only when I received my new phone that I understood what happened, that I was deceived. What makes it even worse is that right now I have no phone service, there is no signal anymore. I am 85, I live alone, all I have is a modest pension, I cannot afford to buy all the recommended medications and I need to be in touch with my doctors all the time. Failure to provide information that the new, lower subscription fee would only apply for a two-month period. Once that period has elapsed, the fees went up from PLN 25 to PLN 41. An example of a consumer complaint: I get my invoices every month, with the subscription amount being 2.5 times higher than TT originally promised. Lack of information and documents: Consumers would not receive information on how to cancel the contract, the contract cancellation form, the price list or even the contract itself. An example of a consumer complaint: The whole visit went like that: he asked me if my name was [***] and then he said he was working for Orange and that he brought an annex to reduce my subscription fee and increasing my free call limits to 100 minutes. He asked me for my ID and showed me where to sign. When I asked him about a copy of the document, he replied that I would receive it all after the deal was signed. Dema[...]



UOKiK is searching for collusion cases

Fri, 13 Apr 2018 15:19:43 +0200

Four dawn raids since the beginning of the year. UOKiK has inspected distributors of photographic equipment, compressors, vehicles and components as well as marketing agencies. Four dawn raids since the beginning of the year. UOKiK has inspected distributors of photographic equipment, compressors, vehicles and components as well as marketing agencies. Taking part in an illegal agreement may involve a fine of up to 10 percent of the sales. Since the beginning of the year, the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) has carried out four searches under its preliminary investigation procedure. We suspect that the entrepreneurs have entered into anti-competitive agreements. The Office's inspectors have reviewed documents, computer and telephone data and heard explanations from managers and sales executives. The searches were carried out in 11 locations and affected four sectors: distribution of photographic equipment, distribution of compressors, sales of trucks and truck components, and branding and marketing agencies. Taking part in a competition-restricting agreement may involve a fine of up to 10 percent of the company's sales. Company managers who allow for collusion to take place face a fine of up to PLN 2 million. "In the first quarter we verified reports that may indicate potential collusion. Our employees are inspecting whether competition could have been limited on four different markets. If our suspicions are confirmed, we will apply sanctions allowed by the law. Achieving 'successes' in business by breaking the law must not be profitable," says Marek Niechciał, the President of UOKiK. The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection may use a variety of measures in order to gather evidence of unlawful practices. One of the most effective among those measures is conducting a search of the entrepreneur’s premises. "Collecting evidence in an anti-trust case constitutes the first stage of the proceedings. It does not always have to involve sanctions for the company taking part in an illegal agreements. A leniency programme might be offered to those who assist the UOKiK. Under the programme, we can drop the financial penalties or reduce them," explains Marek Niechciał, the President of UOKiK. The Office conducts searches of the company's premises when it is suspected that the entity is in possession of significant evidence. It may only be conducted upon court authorisation. In the course of the search, the company must grant the inspectors access to its buildings and premises and make all documents and data carriers available. The search is usually conducted in the presence of police officers.           The leniency programme offers the company that took part in an illegal agreement an opportunity to avoid a financial penalty or have it reduced. It is applicable to those who agree to cooperate with the UOKiK and provide evidence or information on the illegal agreement. We encourage companies interested in the leniency programme to contact the Office. By calling 48 22 55 60 555 you will be able to talk to UOKiK lawyers, who will answer all your questions related to the leniency applications, including anonymous questions. If you are aware of any illegal agreements, please report them to UOKiK. In April, the Office launched a programme of acquiring information from anonymous whistleblowers. Make an anonymous contact with the UOKiK at 48 22 55 60 500 or sygnalista@uokik.gov.pl. Additional information for the media: UOKiK Press Office  Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warszawa, Poland Phone: 695 902 088; 22 55 60 430 E-mail: biuroprasowe@uokik.gov.pl Twitter: @UOKiKgovPL [...]



Children's clothing - safe or not?

Fri, 13 Apr 2018 10:37:38 +0200

The Trade Inspection Authority examined 330 batches of children’s clothing. The inspectors questioned the safety of more than 38% of the garments.

  • The Trade Inspection Authority examined 330 batches of children’s clothing.
  • The inspectors questioned the safety of more than 38% of the garments.
  • The main reason was excessive length of strings, which posed a threat to the life or health of children.

In the fourth quarter of 2017, at the request of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection, the Trade Inspection Authority verified the safety of children’s clothing. It paid particular attention to strings, as they pose the greatest threat. For instance, when placed at the neck, they might strangle the child. On the other hand, when strings are too long, they may become entangled into something and cause the child to fall. Another danger is posed by decorations which a child might tear away from a ribbon and choke on.

The inspectors audited 71 undertakings, including 60 shops. The majority thereof were selected at random, and the rest on the basis of earlier irregularities or complaints. The inspectors examined 330 batches of various types of children’s clothing. They questioned the safety of 126 batches (38.18%). In 79 garments (23.94%), they discovered strings which did not comply with the legal regulations and posed a threat to children. The remaining irregularities concerned mainly errors in marking, e.g. failure to include the name and address of the manufacturer.

Examples of irregularities:

  1. A tunic for girls up to 7 years old featured decorative strings at the hood. These are not permitted in the neck, head and nape area of clothing for small children as they pose
    a risk of strangulation.
  2. A sweater for girls up to 7 years old featured a 25-centimetre string in the waist area, with knots at the ends, which hung below the clothing. Strings in this area may only be 14 cm long; moreover, their ends cannot feature any decorations whatsoever and must be protected against fraying.
  3. A sweater for older children (7–14 years) featured a decorative cord which was 16 cm long (permitted length: 7.5 cm) and 38‑centimetre drawstrings which hung below the bottom hem of the garment, contrary to the regulations.

The majority of undertakings remedied the irregularities voluntarily during the audit. UOKiK is considering initiation of proceedings in the case of 53 defective products.

The results of the audit are worse than of the previous one. In the second quarter of 2016, the inspectors had discovered irregularities in 30.8% of the audited children’s clothing.

The audit report is available only in Polish.

Additional information for the media:

UOKiK Press Office
Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warszawa
Phone: +48 695 902 088
Email: biuroprasowe@uokik.gov.pl
Twitter: @UOKiKgovPL




Kancelaria Prawna Proculus - decision of UOKiK

Wed, 11 Apr 2018 14:48:30 +0200

Excessive commission and soliciting consumers to borrow more money than they could repay are violations of the principles of decency.   Excessive commission and soliciting consumers to borrow more money than they could repay are violations of the principles of decency. The President of UOKiK imposed a penalty amounting to nearly PLN 3,000,000 on Kancelaria Prawna Proculus. This financial intermediary addressed its offer to non-creditworthy persons. Kancelaria Prawna Proculus (Proculus Law Firm) acted as an intermediary in borrowing money. Its offer was addressed mainly to people with no creditworthiness who needed money to repay previously incurred debts. Consumer complaints indicated that in consequence of borrowing money through Kancelaria Prawna Proculus, consumers faced even greater financial difficulties. The President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection determined that the company had violated the principles of decency. “The actions of employees of Proculus had a single aim: to encourage as many people as possible to conclude financial intermediation agreements, as they charged a commission for that. The greater the amount, the greater the fee, which is why Proculus solicited consumers to borrow more money than they would be able to repay,” says Marek Niechciał, President of UOKiK. The Office impugned: Excessive commissions which did not correspond to the work performed by Proculus. The intermediary undertook to search for financial offers, which cost customers approx. 20% of the amount of the loan. Employees of Proculus charged a commission even when all of the activities were performed by the bank or no agreement was concluded. Sometimes clients paid both to Proculus and to the bank. The Office asked 14 other financial intermediaries whether they charged commissions and how high they were. Thirteen said they did not charge the consumers – the fee was paid by the bank granting the loan. Soliciting consumers to borrow more money than they would be able to repay later on. Employees of Proculus manipulated information in such a way that the ultimate borrowed amounts were more than the consumers would be able to repay or needed. As a consequence, Proculus received high commissions while clients faced even greater financial difficulties. Blank promissory notes without the required “non-endorsable” clause. Promissory notes secure claims of the lender and repayment of debt, but they must indicate the amount and contain the “non-endorsable” clause. Proculus could write any amount on the note and transfer the claim to another person. The President of UOKiK decided that Kancelaria Prawna Proculus had violated the principles of decency. The amount of penalty imposed amounts to nearly 3 million zlotys (PLN 2,914,028). The company must also return the promissory notes to the consumers. The decision is final. Furthermore, the Regional Prosecution Service in Wrocław is conducting proceedings concerning the activities of Proculus. Additional information for the media: UOKiK Press Office  Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warszawa, Poland Phone: +48 695 902 088 Email: biuroprasowe@uokik.gov.pl Twitter: @UOKiKgovPL [...]



Misleading information on bottled water labelling - Trade Inspection Authority audit

Fri, 06 Apr 2018 12:41:15 +0200

The Trade Inspection Authority checked 437 batches of natural mineral water, spring water and beverages commonly referred to as "flavoured water”. The Trade Inspection Authority checked 437 batches of natural mineral water, spring water and beverages commonly referred to as “flavoured water”. The inspectors have found irregularities in 44 batches in total (10.1% of all products checked). The primary irregularities are the differences between stated and actual anion and cation count, misleading information on labels as well as presence of out-of-date products in stores. The Trade Inspection Authority examined mineral water, spring water and beverages commonly referred to as “flavoured water”. “Consumers often fail to realise that the so-called “flavoured water” is a type of beverage containing sugar or sweeteners as well as artificial flavours. When picking our mineral or spring water, we should always read the labels carefully” – says Marek Niechciał, President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection, adding that UOKiK will continue to monitor this market on an ongoing basis. Issues with one in ten bottles of water The most recent audit took place in Q3, 2017 in 45 supermarkets, 25 smaller stores and 10 wholesale outlets all across Poland. Inspectors checked a number of factors, including how the water bottles were labelled, whether they were not out of date and in what conditions they were stored. Some of the products were examined in laboratories, where testing was carried out to determine their composition and other characteristics thereof. The inspectors checked 437 batches of products, finding various irregularities in 44 batches in total (10.1% of all products checked). These irregularities included the following issues: In 15 batches out of 80 examined in laboratory conditions, the content of certain anions and cations was different to that stated on the packaging, 15 batches in 3 different stores were out of date, 14 batches featured incorrect labelling. Examples of incorrect labelling: Provision of contradictory information on the labels: the front label said “low CO2 saturation”, while the back label said “high CO2 saturation”. The use of the phrase “unique composition of 7 minerals”. This marketing catchphrase suggests that the given water is exceptional in some way; however, in fact this feature is nothing special at all, since every mineral water has a mineral content unique to the given spring. The use of the misleading phrase “carbonated water” (designated as “lemon-flavoured”) on the price tag; in reality, the product in question was a beverage and not water. Lack of indication “contains sugar and sweeteners” next to the name of the beverage. Following the completion of the audit, 3 undertakings received fines, with four sets of administrative proceedings being initiated. 19 cases were reported to sanitary control authorities or the province inspection authorities tasked with the monitoring of the quality of agricultural products and foodstuffs. Be careful what you buy: Natural mineral water – water originating from underground springs, initially free of any chemical or microbiological impurities. Depending on its composition, mineral water may be beneficial to our health and may be recommended for cases of specific ailments or diet. Natural mineral water can be subdivided into several categories depending on mineral salt content: very low mineral content (up to 50 mg/l), low mineral content (up to 500 mg/l), medium mineral content (between 500 and 1,500 mg/l) and high mineral content (over 1,500 mg/l). Remember to check whether the label states the name of the water spring and the town or city where [...]



Concentration approval: take-over of the Stokrotka chain

Thu, 05 Apr 2018 15:52:47 +0200

The President of UOKiK has approved Maxima Grupe’s take-over of control over Emperia. The former entrepreneur runs Aldik and Sano chains, while the latter is the owner of the Stokrotka chain.   The President of UOKiK has approved Maxima Grupe’s take-over of control over Emperia. The former entrepreneur runs Aldik and Sano chains, while the latter is the owner of the Stokrotka chain. The proceedings conducted by UOKiK have demonstrated that the transaction will not result in restriction of competition. Concentration participants operate both large-area stores (above 350 m2), and traditional outlets – with the area of less than 350 m2. Maxima Grupe is a Lithuanian company owning two retail store chains operating in Poland - Aldik and Sano. Emperia is a Warsaw Stock Exchange listed company owning the Stokrotka chain. In January 2018 UOKiK ordered that the second phase of the concentration assessment procedure be conducted. It was necessary to perform a market survey. The Authority distributed surveys among approximately 50 undertakings competing with the concentration scheme participants. The questions concerned, inter alia, the turnover generated, the sales area and the new outlets planned. With the answers provided by entrepreneurs and the previous case-law taken into consideration, the Authority decided that the chains were competing with each other on local markets. The larger ones - within a 10-15 minute drive, while the smaller ones - within the radius of up to one kilometer. Furthermore, outlets of more than 350 m2 are also competing with traditional shops. “The proceedings conducted demonstrated that competition will not be restricted on any of the local markets. Following the take-over of Emperia, Maxima Grupe will have to continue competing with other entrepreneurs. This means that consumers will still be offered a large choice of stores in close vicinity to their homes. They will continue to have access to both large and traditional retail outlets” – says Michał Holeksa, Vice-President  of UOKiK. According to the provisions of applicable laws, a concentration scheme is subject to notification to the antitrust authority if it involves undertakings whose aggregate turnover generated in the preceding year exceeded EUR 1 billion worldwide or EUR 50 million in Poland. The decisions approving the concentration expire if the transaction is not completed within 2 years of the adoption thereof. The UOKiK website publishes information on all concentration-related antitrust proceedings conducted by the Office. More information about the principles governing mergers can be found in a dedicated paper. Additional information for the media: UOKiK Press Office  Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warszawa Tel. 22 55 60 430, 695 902 088 Email: biuroprasowe@uokik.gov.pl Twitter: @UOKiKgovPL [...]



EGF Council - UOKiK decision

Tue, 03 Apr 2018 11:12:21 +0200

EGF Council, a financial intermediary, applied abusive contract terms in the course of its operations. A financial penalty in the amount of over PLN 5.7 million was imposed upon the company.   EGF Council, a financial intermediary, applied abusive contract terms in the course of its operations. The actions of EGF Council were intentional, their aim being to maximise profits at the expense of consumers. A financial penalty in the amount of over PLN 5.7 million was imposed upon the company. Europejska Grupa Finansowa Council is a credit broker operating under the “Personal Finanse” brand. The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection performed an analysis of the standard contract terms in order to check for the presence of abusive clauses. The proceedings against the company began in December 2016. All in all, the President of the Office considered 13 different contract terms to be abusive. “The clauses applied by EGF Council in its contracts are ambiguous and imprecise. They are also contrary to acceptable practices. For instance, a customer reading through the contract would not have known how much the company itself would charge for its services due to the fact that the amount of remuneration was not specified. This was a deliberate move, designed to ensure that the company could make a substantial profit” – says Marek Niechciał, President of UOKiK. The Office found a number of prohibited terms in the company’s contracts. These terms provided that: the consumer would be under an obligation to pay remuneration to EGF Council for brokering the loan. However, the consumer would not be informed of the amount of such remuneration. Example: The Ordering Party hereby undertakes to pay remuneration to the Contractor in the amount specified in the final decision approved by the Ordering Party. In its contracts, EGF Council would also place the consumer under an obligation to grant recommendations to the company, representing that the company was trustworthy and reliable. The company’s consumers were also under an obligation to declare that they have adopted the decision on taking out the loan on their own, without any pressure being exerted by company employees. Such declarations could make it difficult to enforce claims in the future. Example: I hereby recommend the company EGFC SA, doing business under the PERSONAL FINANSE brand and having its registered office in Wrocław. The company is a trustworthy business and provides its services in a reliable and professional manner. The consumers would also be compelled to declare that the terms and conditions of the contract were agreed upon in the course of negotiations, even though they were, in fact, unilaterally proposed by EGF Council. The intention behind these arrangements was that these terms and conditions would not be considered abusive due to the fact that they had allegedly been agreed upon through negotiations. A financial penalty in the amount of over PLN 5.7 million was imposed upon EGF Council for the use of abusive contract terms. The decision is not final and the undertaking has decided to appeal to a court of law. This is not the first time that the Office has adopted a decision concerning this particular financial intermediary. In 2017, the UOKiK considered that EGF Council violated collective interests of consumers, imposing a penalty in the amount of PLN 6.3 million. Furthermore, the UOKiK also been filing reports concerning the activities of this company with law enforcement agencies for a couple of years. The proceedings concerning the activities of EGF Council are being conducted by the Regional Prosecution Service in Wrocław. The proprietors of the business were detained at the request of the Prosecution Service; some of them were arre[...]



Judicial decisions: competition protection

Thu, 29 Mar 2018 13:17:40 +0200

The judicial decisions made as a follow-up to the UOKiK decisions on competition protection pertained to the following undertakings: Sfinks Group, Terg, PKP Cargo.   The judicial decisions made as a follow-up to the UOKiK decisions on competition protection pertained to the following undertakings: Sfinks Group, Terg, PKP Cargo. Below we present a summary of the most important judicial decisions concerning competition protection.  Sfinks – case no. VII AGA 828/18 The first judgement pertains to the decision from June 2013, in which the President of UOKiK held that the conclusion of an agreement between Sfinks and its franchisees which provided for fixed prices for products sold at the company’s network of restaurants constituted a competition-restricting practice. A financial penalty in the amount exceeding PLN 462,000 was imposed upon the undertaking. In 2016, the Court of Competition and Consumer Protection dismissed the company’s appeal in its entirety. In January 2018, the Court of Appeal amended the judgement of the Court of Competition and Consumer Protection by decreasing the penalty amount to PLN 50,000. In the oral statement of reasons, the court stated that the imposition of fixed prices in its franchise network by Sfinks constituted a competition-restricting agreement. Despite the fact that the company claimed the use of uniform pricing was necessary to ensure consistent service quality, it has failed to present any marketing analysis which would support those claims. In its decision to decrease the penalty amount, the Court of Appeal considered that the difference between the price which may have hypothetically been adopted in the absence of the agreement and the price fixed under the said agreement could not have been substantial, which meant that the detrimental effect of the agreement was only minor. Terg – case no. III SK 1/17 In February 2018, a hearing took place before the Supreme Court following the cassation appeal filed by the company Terg, which challenged the judgement of the Court of Appeal made in September 2016. In its judgement, the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal of the undertaking against the decision of the President of UOKiK from October 2013 in its entirety. The UOKiK claimed that Terg proceeded with a concentration scheme without seeking the approval of the Competition Authority and imposed a penalty in the amount of PLN 40,000 upon the undertaking. The Supreme Court dismissed the cassation appeal. The Court held that there were no circumstances that would justify a decrease or waiver of the penalty imposed. The Court further held that the existing case law provided that the courts should be wary of making adjustments to the penalties applied by the UOKiK. Such adjustments should only be made where the circumstances of the case indicated that the President of the Competition Authority acted outside the scope of his or her competences. PKP Cargo – case no. III SK 6/17 The final judgement pertains to the decision made back in 2012, under which a penalty of PLN 1.7 million was imposed upon PKP Cargo for its failure to comply with an earlier decision from December 2004. For more than 4 years, the undertaking has continued to abuse its dominant position and has failed to introduce changes to the contracts concluded with its contractors according to the Competition Authority’s request. PKP Cargo applied different discounts for the transport of bituminous coal to various contractors despite the fact that both the turnover and weight of the goods carried remained similar. In addition, the contracts applied by the company provided for differing regulations with respect to the weight of transported goods, both annually and in individual quarters. In April 2016, the Court of Appeal amende[...]



Centrum Medyczne św. Franciszka (St Francis Medical Centre) - a warning for senior citizens

Thu, 29 Mar 2018 13:11:52 +0200

Consumers are advised to care in their dealings with the company known as Centrum Medyczne św. Franciszka (St Francis Medical Centre).

  • Consumers are advised to care in their dealings with the company known as Centrum Medyczne św. Franciszka (St Francis Medical Centre).
  • Senior citizens have been complaining that they would receive invitations for free medical examinations; those who chose to attend, however, would be induced into signing contracts for medical services.
  • The medical packages on offer can cost as much as PLN 16,000, with the company charging considerable penalties for early contract termination.

Warning! The UOKiK has been receiving numerous complaints from consumers based in Łódź, Wrocław and Warsaw, pertaining to the activities of the company known as Centrum Medyczne św. Franciszka (CMSF). The offer of the company is aimed mostly at senior citizens. How does the business itself operate? The company calls consumers, inviting them for free EKG tests. According to one of the aggrieved individuals, however, the actual test involved the examination of the index finger. The company representatives inform the consumer that he or she is in poor health; they subsequently offer medical packages priced between PLN 4,000 and PLN 16,000, which often requires the consumer to take out a loan to pay the bills involved.

Senior citizens have been complaining that they were induced into signing the contracts through misrepresentation. Many of them did not even realise that the objective of the meeting is to sell medical services. Those who wish to break off their relations with the company face substantial early termination fees. In addition, the reliability of the tests performed during the presentations and the quality of the resulting health condition reports also remains dubious.

We hereby wish to warn consumers against any invitations for “free medical tests” since such events are often nothing more but sales meetings. Those who believe they have been deceived by the company known as Centrum Medyczne św. Franciszka should get in touch with the consumer ombudsman. We have already initiated an investigation procedure with respect to the company in question. We wish to take this opportunity to warn senior citizens and ask them to be careful” – says Marek Niechciał, President of UOKiK.

Additional information for the media:

UOKiK Press Office
pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warsaw
Phone: 695 902 088
E-mail: biuroprasowe@uokik.gov.pl
Twitter: @UOKiKgovPL