European Commission


Case detail

B a c k

Directive article Article 2 (b)
Article 2 (d)
Article 3 1.
Article 5 1.
Article 5 4. (b)
Article 13 al1
Annex I al2 28.
National ID Consumer Rights Protection Centre Decision Nr. E03-RIG-511
Country Latvia Decision date 11/12/2008
Common name Decision type Administrative decision, first degree
Court Patērētāju tiesību aizsardzības centrs (Rīga) Plaintiff(s)
Court translation Consumer Rights Protection Centre Defendant(s) SIA "Tele2"
Subject aggressive commercial practices
Keywords advertisementaggressive commercial practicesblack listchildrenmobile phone services

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Providing young children with SIM cards, inciting them to use mobile phone services, and giving them information regarding prepayment cards is an aggressive commercial practice that violates Annex I-28 of the UCP Directive. In such case, it is not necessary to evaluate the other conditions of the UCP Directive in order to determine whether this practice should be prohibited. 


On 1 September 2008, the defendant (one of the leading telecommunications providers in Latvia) gave out packages entitled "Pirmklasnieka drošības komplekts" (first grader’s safety package) to first-graders in several schools in Latvia.

The package contained a reflector, a list of classes, and a prepayment card "Zelta Zivtiņa" SIM card with a credit balance of LVL 1. It also contained an informative booklet about the correct usage of a phone (first lines were in Latvian: “Greetings, first-grader! Congratulations with your first personal phone number. With it you can call your mom, dad, your friends, but not your cat, doggy or teddy bear!”) and a letter to parents (which amongst other things included information regarding recommended tariff plans for "Zelta Zivtiņa" and renewal cards).

Legal issue

(1) Is it unfair to provide free SIM cards to children, together with a message that incites children to use mobile phone services, and explains tariffs and renewal to parents? 

(2) Is there a need to evaluate unfair commercial practices when a predefined unfair commercial practice is established?


(1) The Consumer Rights Protection Centre (CRPC) first concluded that giving SIM cards with a credit balance, additionally congratulating children and pointing out that they could make calls to their mothers, fathers and friends and describing the possible opportunities of the prepayment card, must without any doubt be considered as a direct invitation for children to use the trader's telecommunication services.

CRPC then considered that children belong to the most vulnerable categories of persons of society, because they can be easily influenced due to their age and lack of knowledge. Receiving gifts of this kind can negatively influence children, because receiving a gift that cannot be used, can create a feeling of insecurity, inferiority and shame for being different than others.     

CRPC continued by considering that although the trader intended to give information about telecommunication services to the parents of the children, the direct recipients of information were the children. Only after getting acquainted with the content of the package (including their personal number and credit balance of LVL 1), the children gave information to their parents, possibly asking to receive a mobile phone to use the SIM card.

CRPC concluded that the advertisement included a direct invitation for children to receive services, and that this should be considered an aggressive commercial practice as defined in Annex I-28 of the UCP Directive.

(2)  Taking into account the wording of article 17 of  the preamble to the UCP Directive, the CRPC concluded that the same applies to national legislation, i.e., that it is not necessary to further evaluate the aggressive commercial practice when it is listed as a per se prohibition.

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The defendant was fined for having committed an aggressive commercial practice. 

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