What does the law stipulate?

There are two forms of unfair trading practices:

Both are prohibited by European Directive 2005/29 effective in all European states.

Misleading trading practices

In the case of unfair trading practices that mislead, the vendor gives you deceitful information. Or deliberately keeps (part of) his/her knowledge from you.

Vendors use misleading trading practices to confuse you and incite you to buy.

Some examples:

  • The vendor tempts you with an exceptional promotion, but deliberately has too few of the items in stock. Since you are in the store anyway, s/he attempts to sell you something different.
  • S/he claims that his/her product will only be available very temporarily, although that is not true.
  • S/he passes you on to a customer service, whose staff speaks a language different from the one s/he was speaking during the sale. A detail s/he does not tell you about.
  • S/he claims that his/her business is about to close down finally, although that is not true.
  • S/he promises that a particular product is capable of curing illnesses, even though that is not the case.
  • And more.

Aggressive trading practices

By aggressive unfair trading practices, we mean intimidation, coercion or inappropriate influencing (from a position of power) by the dealer. S/he is attempting to pressure you as consumer, and make you buy.

Some examples:

  • S/he contacts you repeatedly at home and ignores your request no longer to do so.
  • S/he persistently urges by telephone or via another channel, whereas you make it clear that you do not want that.
  • S/he requires you to pay for products that you did not order.
  • In his/her publicity, s/he directly addresses children, who buy his/her products or who persuade their parents to do so.
  • They publish fake reviews or maintain that product reviews are published by consumers who have actually bought or used the product, without properly checking it, …
  • And more.

Identified one of these practices? Then take action immediately.