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The forbidden methods of inducement of the client (customer)

The forbidden methods of inducement of the client (customer) (Unconscientiously inducement of the client, fraud of the client, usage of the forbidden methods)

1. The most widespread methods of inducement of the client are the usage of discounts and sales.

In accordance with the requirements of the Law of Ukraine «On Consumer Rights Protection» dated May 12, 1991 No 1023 - XII, the usage of the terms «discount» and «sold out» is possible only in the cases, which are strictly provided by the law.

In accordance with the requirements of the Part 4 of the Article 15 of the Law of Ukraine «On Consumer Rights Protection», the entrepreneur may apply terms «discount» or «reduced price» only in respect with the following requirements:

  • if "discount" is applied to the goods which are sold directly by the entrepreneur who announced a discount;
  • if «discount» or «reduction of the price» is applied within a certain and strictly limited period of time;
  • if the «discount» price of the production is lower than its regular price.

The application of the term «sale out» or of any other similar term, in accordance with the requirements of the Part 5 of the Article 15 of the Law of Ukraine «On Consumer Rights Protection», is allowed only in case of the observance of the following conditions:

  • if the «sale out» is performed in relation to all goods within a certain place or the «sale out» is performed in relation to a clearly defined group of goods located at different places (that means, the «sold out» of the part of goods at one shop is not allowed, but the «sold out» of a group of goods, not all, is allowed all over the chain stores);
  • if the duration of the «sale out» is clearly defined by the time limits;
  • if the prices of goods that are the subject of the «sale out» are lower than regular price of such goods.

This means that the seller is obliged to provide you with information about clearly defined list of goods and services, which are offered with «discount», about period of duration of the discount. Moreover (and the most important) the seller shall give you information (duly documented) about the price of offered goods or service before the implementation of the «discount» or «sale out».

The violation of any of the abovementioned requirements gives you the right to file a request to the authorities, which provide consumer rights protection and ask the official to hold the verification of the transaction and punish the guilty.

2. The usage of the adulterated product.

In accordance with the provisions of the Item 27 of the Article 1 of the Law of Ukraine «On Consumer Rights Protection», products are adulterated if they were made with violation of procedure or with unauthorized usage of a trademark for goods and services as well as with copying of a packaging form, external design or with illegal reproduction of the goods which were made by other person.

The term «adulterated products» is often confused with the concepts of «substitute products» (substitutes, imitators) and «defective goods».

This is not surprising, because substitutes and defective goods are often used with intent of adulteration. 

However, substitutes and defective goods are not adulterated products, if their marking or consignments include actual name and the price of such goods conforms to the quality and to the origin of goods.

In the realities of modern life, each of us at least once faced the purchase of goods under the name of a famous brand, but without relevance to brand-name quality.

Thus dishonest entrepreneurs use well-known, long-standing, widely promoted brand to push up sales by misleading consumers.

In accordance with the provisions of the Article 8 of the Law of Ukraine «On Consumer Rights Protection» in the event of detection, within established warranty period, of goods adulteration, which confirmed by the expert conclusion (if it is necessary), the consumer in accordance with the procedure and limits prescribed by law and on the basis of rules, which are obligatory for parties, or of the contract clauses, has the right to require from seller or manufacturer (at your choice) the following:

  • the cancellation of the agreement and the return the amount of money which was paid for goods;
  • the replacement of the goods for the same product or equivalent from the seller’s (manufacturer) available goods.

Moreover, you shall understand that you need to keep documents, which confirm purchasing of goods, in order to apply the abovementioned methods of protection.

3. Inducement of clients through the online marketplaces.

The online purchase has certain advantages and its popularity is growing by the seconds.

Therefore the number of consumer rights violations increases.

The most popular online trick to mislead the consumers is incorrect registration of sale transactions of goods (that is the first issue that shall hit you up on the idea of a possible fraud), such as:

  • in accordance with information, which is posted on the online markets website the sale is performed by one company, but when you perform transaction the other company (or even nonexistent person which may not be checked by you) makes out the documents;
  • the transaction processing is carried out by the billing without granting of a payment documents;
  • you do not know who has signed the payment document, which is not sealed by the company (enterpriser) of the seller,  whereas, this document is only sealed by the typical stamp, which even you may buy in any stationary shop;
  • the warranty cards are registered by the third unknown company, which has no connection to the transaction of goods;
  • the rejection of deliveryman, who delivers the goods, to provide documents which confirms the existence of the company of the seller.

The purchase of goods which is performed with the abovementioned violations leads to indefensibility of your rights in the event of purchasing of low quality goods.

In addition very often online markets try to mislead you in the part of warranty obligations and offer to pay additional money for the preparation of warranty. However, you shall remember that (in accordance with the Ukrainian legislation) each manufacturer shall provide and actually gives the customer a free warranty.

Some manufacturers offer an extended warranty for a long period and a more detailed list of types of repairing. For such a warranty the manufacturer has the right to take additional funds.

The most important thing, which you shall understand is that all online markets and other markets are obliged to follow the provisions of the Law of Ukraine «On Consumer Rights Protection».

Herewith, you shall not forget the following:

  • you shall check the goods in the presence of the courier;
  • in the presence of the courier you shall check the warranty card;
  • the courier may not refuse to wait while you are examining the goods;
  • in accordance with the Law of Ukraine «On Consumer Rights Protection», if you detect any damage on the product you have the right to claim for reduction of the goods price, free elimination of the defect of the goods or just to refuse the purchase.

4. Unfair advertising.

In accordance with the provisions of the Article 1 of the Law of Ukraine "On Advertising", dated July 3 1996, No 270/96-VR, as the unfair advertising is considered to be the advertising, which misleads or may mislead the consumer, causes damage to people, the state or society as a consequence of inaccurate, untruthful, ambiguity, exaggeration, concealment, violation of time, place and manner of distribution.

As well as the unfair advertising may be considered the following:

  • the advertising, which contains an incorrect comparison of the advertised goods with the goods, which are in circulation, which are produced by the other manufacturers or sold by the other seller;
  • the advertising that touches honor, dignity or business reputation of a person and competitor;
  • advertising, which is an act of unfair competition in accordance with the competition legislation.

Moreover, as the unfair advertising may be considered the advertising, which violates special requirements of the Law of Ukraine «On Advertising». For example if the advertisement violates requirements which concern advertisement of medicines, alcoholic drinks and tobacco, arms sales, and services associated with the involvement of public funds, securities as well as advertisement of the other types of business activities that require a special permit and advertising of reduction of  product prices (sold out) may be also considered as the unfair advertising.

If the advertisement may confuse the consumer (even if such a fact did not take place), it is also considered to be the violation of the Law of Ukraine «On Advertising».

The advertisement, which may confuse the customer, is an advertisement, which gives the consumer expectations which may not be realized by the advertised goods (service).

Whereas, the advertisement is misleading only if such an advertisement concerns specific qualities or capabilities of the goods (service). Conversely the advertisement is not misleading if its statements include general characteristics, such as deodorant effect on men’s attractiveness.

In accordance with the provisions of the Part 1of the Article 26 of the Law of Ukraine «On Advertising», the control over the compliance of the advertising legislation is carried out by the following state authorities:

  • the central executive agency that implements the state policy in the field of state supervision over observance of legislation on protection of consumer rights - in relation to consumer rights protection;
  • the Anti-monopoly Committee of Ukraine – in relation to the observance of legislation on protection of economic competition;
  • the National Council of Television and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine – in relation to the television and radio organizations of all forms of ownership;
  • the central executive agency which implement the national financial policy – in relation to the advertisement of governmental securities;
  • the National Securities and Stock Market Commission – in relation to the advertisement on the stock market;
  • the central executive agency which implements the national policy in the field of building constructions and architecture – in relation to the residential building construction;
  • the central agency of state supervision and control over observance of legislation on employment - in relation to the advertisement of vacancies.