Monday, January 17

Why it matters. End of home visits, verification of reviews: consumers will be better protected in 2022

The European “Omnibus” directive arrives in France. Adopted in November 2019 by the Strasbourg Parliament and the European Council, it regulates a number of online commercial practices and has been transposed into French law since the publication of a text Thursday in the Official Journal. It will apply from May 28, 2022.

France is often behind the European Union on consumer protection, as in 2019 when France transposed the two-year warranty into its law for all products purchased.

Concretely, the ordinance obliges marketplaces (“marketplace” like Amazon) to verify that the notices under the products offered for sale have indeed been published by people who have purchased the product.

They will also have to give certain additional information to the consumer, such as the existence of a “capital link” between the seller and the marketplace, or request the consumer’s consent when the right of withdrawal does not apply.

The “personalized prices” must be indicated

Merchant sites practicing “personalized prices”, which change according to consumer behavior, must also clearly indicate this.

Another part of the ordinance aims to combat excessive price reduction announcements, calculated on the basis of inflated reference prices.

From the entry into force of the ordinance, traders must display the reference price from which the reduction is calculated, and this must correspond “to the lowest price practiced by the professional with regard to all consumers in the last thirty days ”.

Reinforced sanctions

The penalties are also reinforced: if traders do not comply with certain legal information obligations or in the event of unfair terms in contracts, the fine may be increased to 15,000 euros for a natural person and 75,000 euros for a person. moral, against 3,000 and 15,000 euros previously. In the event of a “large-scale infringement”, it may reach 4% of the turnover of the target company.

The ordinance also prohibits visits to sellers at home if the consumer “has clearly and unambiguously indicated that he does not wish to be the subject of such a visit”. In the event of failure to comply with this rule, the seller may be punished with one year’s imprisonment and a fine of 150,000 euros.

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