According to the investigation by the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH), Alza.hu has strongly urged its users to buy some products as soon as possible with messages containing mostly incorrect content, thus a fine of HUF 40 million has been imposed on the web store operator.
According to the GVH announcement, an investigation was opened last year against operator Alza.hu and its Czech parent company due to the unacceptable selling tactics of the web store. Procedure detection:
The portal illegally urged users to buy as soon as possible with clear flashing messages
For example, “Customer X is currently interested in the product”; “This week, X customers bought this product,” it put psychological pressure on the users. This in itself is unfair.
In addition, the data presented in urgent messages was largely not supported by calculation methods: for example, the message “Customer X is currently interested” did not show the actual number of inquiries at the moment, but the whole European community of views today.
The decision of the Competition Council of the Authority took into account, among other things, the following:
The operators have acknowledged the breach, waived their remedies, and reviewed internal company policies to ensure compliance with their business practices.
The authority also took into account the fact that shortly after the action began, the companies stopped themselves from the alleged conduct.
The compensation package offered by the online store to compensate its customers has also been taken into consideration as a discount element. According to the official obligations imposed by the obligations
Every consumer gets a voucher worth 3,000 HUF for purchase in the Alza online store in 2019.
The discount can be used for any purchase over HUF 10,000 in the next year. They wrote that Alza will email the vouchers to all holders by April 17, 2022, but will also notify those affected via SMS, its website, social media and the press.
In the event that the total value of the use of the vouchers does not reach HUF 450 million, Alza will provide direct compensation to consumers through the additional obligations undertaken during the procedure. And even if the amount of compensation still does not reach 450 million, the companies will have to pay the difference as a fine. GVH said web store operators will have to scrutinize the fulfillment of obligations to the authority in detail.
(Cover photo: The Economic Competition Office building on August 24, 2021. Photo: László Róka/MTI)
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