The Consumer Protection Service on Tuesday fined the company VEOO SOLUTIONS LTD €250,000 for unfair commercial practices relating to an advertisement it ran on Facebook.
On that ad, the company had used trade marks and photographs with products and shop windows of well-known chains inviting consumers to win gift vouchers of €500 from the shops.
By participating in a market survey to win the gift vouchers, consumers would register through an SMS message for subscription services which carried a fee.
The Consumer Protection Service said that its investigation had shown that the commercial practices of the company fell short of professional good conduct because the company did not take care to apply the general principles of good faith and fair practices between a trader and a consumer.
More specifically, the company did not inform the consumer from the beginning about the nature of the service it was providing — that is that it carried a change. Moreover, it did not inform the consumer that the gift voucher was not offered by the shops but by the company itself, and thirdly the trade marks and photographs of products and shop windows of well-known chains were used without their approval, thereby leading to confusion among consumers.
The company’s practices were also found to be misleading as regards the nature and main characteristics of the product, the benefits of the commercial practice, the motivation of the commercial practice, commercial transparency and promotion of the product among other.
VEOO Solutions LTD was ordered to cease the violations and not to repeat them in the future, and was fined €250,000.