European Commission

 

Case detail

B a c k

Directive article Article 5 2. (a)
Article 8 al1
National ID Ombudsman of the Consumer 10th of September 2010 (Νo of protocol 1912)
Country Greece Decision date 10/09/2010
Common name Decision type Other
Court Συνήγορος του καταναλωτή Plaintiff(s) consumer
Court translation Ombudsman of the Consumer Defendant(s) GENESIS MAIEYTIKI GYNAIKOLOGIKI HEIROURGIKI KLINIKI
Subject aggressive commercial practices
Keywords aggressive commercial practicesprecontractual informationprice information

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Headnote

The practice of a clinical institution to charge parents for the collection of their newborn children’s blastocytes without actually providing any services for this collection and without prior information thereon, is an aggressive commercial practice, since it distorts the consumer’s freedom of choice during the transactional decision.

Facts

 

The plaintiff complained that the defendant, a maternity clinic, imposed additional charges for the collection of blastocytes from the omphalion blood of his newborn baby. 
 
The complaint was sent to the defendant so as to give the defendant the opportunity to provide its opinion on the matter. The defendant replied by providing some explanations for the reasons why it considered the charges as legitimate.
 
However, the Ombudsman of the Consumers referred to the recommendation that already had been issued regarding these specific charges imposed by the private maternity clinics (protocol no 1192/1-6-2010).

Legal issue

Does the commercial practice conducted by the maternity clinic, i.e. to charge the parents for a process that is not delivered by any of the clinic’s staff and that has not been previously communicated to the consumers, qualify as an aggressive commercial practice?

Decision

Similar to the a recommendation that had already been issued by the Ombudsman of the Consumer regarding identical charges imposed by other private maternity clinics (protocol no 1192/1-6-2010), it was held that the practice of the maternity clinics resulted into an  influence on the freedom of choice of the consumers while forming their transactional decision as to accept or to refuse the additional charges imposed is a misleading practice. According to the Ombudsman, this practice constitutes an aggressive commercial practice.  

Moreover, it was decided that by creating obstacles to altruistic actions (such as the donation of blastocytes for scientific research) by imposing additional charges, the defendant acted contrary to the professional diligence applicable to medical institutions.

  URL Decision Decision full text
EL http://www.synigoroskatanaloti.gr/docs/reports/2010-09-10.%CE%A3%CF%85%CF%83%CF%84%CE%B1%CF%83%CE%B7%20%CF%80%CF%81%CE%BF%CF%82%20GENESIS.D.pdf
EN N/A

Result

The Ombudsman of the Consumer recommended to the defendant to give back to the plaintiff the money it had already collected and to refrain from similar charges relevant to the collection of blastocytes of the omphalion blood in the future.

Additional information

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Related case(s)

National ID Common Name Subject Country Link type
/ Ombudsman of the Consumer, 1st June 2010 (Protocol No : 1192) aggressive commercial practices Greece N/A

Legal Literature

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