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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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President of The Office Of Competition and Consumer Protection presses charges against AUTOCENTRUM AAA AUTO

< previous | next > 31.08.2022

President of The Office Of Competition and Consumer Protection presses charges against AUTOCENTRUM AAA AUTO
  • The President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection, Tomasz Chróstny, instituted proceedings against AUTOCENTRUM AAA AUTO – a leading used car dealer.
  • Lack of full information on the final price of the car at the moment of making the purchase decision – this is the main practice contested by the President of the Office.
  • The dealer may face a fine of up to 10 percent of its annual turnover.

The President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection suspects that the company called AUTOCENTRUM AAA AUTO from Piaseczno, the owner of showrooms for sale and purchase of used cars, may be in infringement of the collective interests of consumers. AUTOCENTRUM has 14 showrooms across Poland, including but not limited to in Warsaw, Wrocław, ŁódŒ, Gdańsk and Poznań. Cars are also presented on the websites: aaaauto.pl, otomoto.pl.

The grounds for taking action rested with signals raised by consumers who had informed of incomprehensible rules relative to the sale of vehicles. This could be misleading at the stage of deciding to buy a car and concluding a contract.

The President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection, Tomasz Chróstny, investigated the practices exercised by the car dealer. From the information collected during the investigation, it appears that the websites aaaauto.pl and otomoto.pl had not contained information on adding a fee for an additional service to the price of the car during the transaction. Consumers who had decided to make a purchase by booking a vehicle of their choice in advance only when visiting the AUTOCENTRUM showroom had found out that an additional fee of approximately PLN 1,300 was supposed to be added to the presented price of the vehicle. Importantly, the salespersons had indicated a variety of reasons for charging the fee in question, for example that it was “a fee for preparing the car”, “for disinfection due to the current epidemiological situation” or “a fee for checking whether the vehicle is legal”.

Consumers also pointed to the problem that involves automatic inclusion of the cost of an insurance product that they did not intend to buy in the price of the vehicle.

Furthermore, on aaaauto.pl website one could find an offer of health insurance and assistance insurance, whose prices did not include VAT.

“I have brought charges of infringement of the collective interests of consumer against AUTOCENTRUM AAA AUTO, a used car dealer. Consumers find the price as the basic information on whether to decide on making a purchase or not. In line with our findings and the signals we have received, it was only at the stage of signing the contract that consumers found out that they had to pay for additional services that they had not known about thus far” – says Tomasz Chróstny, President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection.

In a separate proceeding, the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection contested the terms and conditions of the contracts used by AUTOCENTRUM AAA AUTO. He suspects that clauses used in contracts of sale may have rendered it possible for the company to avoid liability for possible defects in the vehicle.

If the charges pressed in both proceedings prove to be confirmed, AUTOCENTRUM AAA AUTO may face a fine of up to 10% of its annual turnover and the necessity to stop practising.

Additional information for the media:

UOKiK Press Office
pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warszawa, Poland
Phone: 22 55 60 246
Email: [SCODE]Yml1cm9wcmFzb3dlQHVva2lrLmdvdi5wbA==[ECODE]
Twitter: @UOKiKgovPL
You can also follow us on Instagram: @uokikgovpl

Consumer Support:

Phone: 801 440 220 or +48 22 266 76 76 – consumer helpline
Email: [SCODE]cG9yYWR5QGRsYWtvbnN1bWVudG93LnBs[ECODE]
Consumer Ombudsmen – in your town or district

Attached files

 

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