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Case detail



Directive article Article 6 1.
Article 6 1. (g)
National ID Decision no. DDK 1/2013
Country Poland Decision date 26/04/2013
Common name Decision type Administrative decision, first degree
Court Urząd Ochrony Konkurencji i Konsumentów w Warszawie Plaintiff(s) The President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection in Warsaw
Court translation The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection in Warsaw Defendant(s) ITI Neovision sp. z o.o.
Subject misleading commercial practices
Keywords consumer rightslegal rightsnotificationright of withdrawal

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Headnote

It is an unfair commercial practice to unilaterally alter an agreement for the provision of services if the consumer does not express the wish to terminate the agreement within a given period.

Facts

Following a large number of consumer complaints, the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer protection investigated whether letters containing information about changes in media packages sent by the defendant to its customers violated consumer rights. Letters were sent after the merger of two satellite television services providers and contained a statement that in the case of non-acceptance of the new terms of the agreement for the provision of services, customers of the defendant should notify the company within the specified period that they wish to terminate the agreement. If customers failed to inform the company of the intended termination, their agreements were automatically altered.

Legal issue

Is it an unfair commercial practice to unilaterally alter an existing agreement for the provision of services?

Decision

The President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection considered the unilateral agreement alteration to be a breach of the consumers' rights. The information concerning the change of terms and the period of time allowed for termination of the agreement was placed on the back page of the letter and was not highlighted in any way. The front page of the letter contained the new offer for the provision of "nc+" satellite television services, and a deadline for rejecting the alteration, which was too short. Therefore, the manner in which the information was presented was misleading for consumers, as it gave them a wrong idea about their rights in the situation.

  URL Decision Decision full text
EN N/A
PL http://decyzje.uokik.gov.pl/dec_prez.nsf/0/1BEB21BB9B2AA44DC1257B5C003B4CA0?OpenDocument

Result

The commercial practice was found to be unfair.

The President ordered the defendant to remedy all consequences of its breach, including a renouncement of the altered terms, informing the affected customers that the letter had no legal effect, and a publication of the decision DDK 1/2013 in full for at least one month period on the website maintained for the purposes of "nc+" satellite television services.

In addition, the defendant was ordered to pay a fine of PLN 10,841,116.
 

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