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Case detail



Directive article Article 7 4. (d)
Article 8 al1
Article 9 al1 (b)
National ID Consumer Rights Protection Centre Decision Nr. E03-KREUD-27
Country Latvia Decision date 15/12/2011
Common name Decision type Administrative decision, first degree
Court Patērētāju Tiesību Aizsardzības Centrs (Rīga) Plaintiff(s) SIA “Euro Parking”
Court translation Consumer Rights Protection Centre (Riga) Defendant(s) Consumer Rights Protection Centre
Subject aggressive commercial practices
Keywords coercionpaymentprice informationtelephoneundue influence

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Headnote

(1) It constitutes a misleading commercial practice to require a consumer to make a telephone call to the trader in order to be informed on an applicable payment method.
(2) The use of mechanisms that block a consumer's property in case of non-payment for services and requesting payment before releasing the property of consumers, constitutes an aggressive commercial practice.
 

Facts

The plaintiff is an operator of paid parking lots on several locations. The parking lots contained a sign making clear that it is a paying parking lot. However, there were no persons or machines available with whom one could make payment for a parking space. Only a phone number was given for questions.
If payment was not made, the wheels of the concerned vehicle were blocked and a payment of a contractual penalty was requested by the plaintiff.  There was a staff hired by the plaintiff to collect the contractual penalty and to install the wheel block, but these persons did not accept payments for the parking services as such.
The Consumer Rights Protection Centre (CRPC) accused the plaintiff of performing misleading and aggressive commercial practices.
 

Legal issue

(1) Does it constitute a misleading commercial practice to require a consumer to make a telephone call to the trader in order to be informed on an applicable payment method?
(2) Does the use of mechanisms that block a consumer's property in case of non-payment for services and requesting payment before releasing the property of consumers, constitute an aggressive commercial practice?
 

Decision

(1) The CRPC held that an average consumer can expect that it is possible to pay for use of the parking lot services on-site and that it is not necessary to call a phone numbers to ascertain the method how payments can be made. The plaintiff, the CRPC held, had therefore acted in a misleading manner by failing to clearly inform the consumers on the applicable terms of use of the parking lot.
(2) In addition, it was stated by the CRPC that the use of wheel blocks and requesting payment of a contractual penalty, this  before releasing the vehicle, constitutes an aggressive commercial practice. 
 

  URL Decision Decision full text
EN N/A
LV http://www.ptac.gov.lv/upload/ptac_lemumi/2011/20111215_europarking_lemuma_izraksts.pdf

Result

Plaintiff was penalized for breaching the prohibition on unfair commercial practices.

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