Czech government passes law to phase out 'fake discounts'

Merchants and retailers will now need to be more transparent about their discount offerings. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 04.11.2022 11:48:00 (updated on 04.11.2022) Reading time: 1 minute

Retailers and merchants will now have to mention the original price of a good that is being offered at a discount. The change is a part of new government regulations on consumer protection approved by the Senate yesterday.

The amendment also extends the standard time that a consumer can withdraw from a purchase contract – from 14 days to 30. In the cases of unfair business practices, consumers will now have up to 90 days from the date of purchase to make an official claim.

For discounted goods, merchants will now have to state the lowest price for a product “in a period of no fewer than 30 days before the promotion was first applied,” ČTK reports. The new law aims to protect consumers from false discounts.

This will not apply to specific loyalty programs or to food and other goods that expire quickly or have a short shelf life. Minister of Industry and Trade Jozef Síkela said that the amendment will significantly increase consumer protection.

Senator Daniela Kovářová, on the other hand, believes that the measures will not solve the problem and that retailers will inevitably find loopholes. "The only thing that [this] will help is an increase in the competitive environment," she noted.

In cases of remote purchases, merchants will now be legally required to send a confirmation of the purchasing contract, which only becomes valid when the consumer signs it or consents to it via other electronic means.

Keeping a closer eye on merchants

Online reviews also face increased scrutiny. Sellers will need to make clear to consumers that product reviews come from people who have actually bought or used it. Sellers will need to display clear verification of the purchase showing that the reviewer is genuine. Posting fake reviews will be classified as an unfair business practice.

Another behavior labelled an unfair business price from now on is placing sponsored products at the top of the list of search results without telling customers about the paid advertisement. 

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