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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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OLX with charges from the President of UOKiK

< previous | next > 22.09.2022

OLX with charges from the President of UOKiK
  • Misleading sorting of offers on the website and the illusory protection of buyers under the “Protection Package” are just some of the questioned practices.
  • The President of UOKiK has brought charges against the popular sales platform OLX.pl.
  • There is a penalty of up to 10% of turnover for the violation of collective consumer interests. 

OLX.pl is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms in Poland, enabling the sale and purchase of products
and services. The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection  has received signals from users of the platform regarding unfair practices.

The president of the UOKiK has charged the company with misleading sorting of offers. When selecting the "from the cheapest" option - prices do not include the "Maintenance Service" fee, which may affect the selection of a less cost-effective offer. This fee is only added to some products - when the buyer uses OLX shipments and payment. As a result, for example, a men's shirt for PLN 39 with a service charge of PLN 3.67  (only visible when the ad is clicked) ranks higher and seems more attractively priced than a shirt for PLN 40 with no additional charges.

- Reliable product sorting must be based on comparable criteria. Searching for offers “from the cheapest’’ allows you to find the best value for money, without having to verify each ad. This is particularly important when looking for popular products, of which there are many on the site. Sorting by price should take into account all the elements that make up the final price. Omitting a component may mislead the user says Tomasz Chróstny, President of the UOKiK.

In addition, the President of the UOKiK was concerned about the lack of clear and unambiguous information about the “Maintenance Service” itself. The allegation concerns the failure to inform users of the possibility to purchase at no extra charge, e.g. by setting the conditions of direct collection from the seller in messages on the platform.

The buyers also reported irregularities in the complaints concerning the "Protection Package". This service is presented by the platform as an additional protection that allows you to report an empty package or receiving an item other than the one ordered within 24 hours of receipt. In such a situation - once OLX has confirmed the validity of the request - it is possible to suspend the transfer of money to the seller and return it to the buyer.
However, after reviewing the regulations, the number of exemptions used raises doubts about the real possibility of benefiting from this protection, as does the notification procedure. This is because its provisions are unjustifiably more favourable to the seller. For example, a user who has received a parcel with a damaged phone, according to the platform's rules, may be refused the “Protection Package”. The service offered by OLX.pl may therefore in practice only mean illusory protection for consumers buying on the site.

- The consumer has the right to expect from the trader that the service in question has been designed in an honest way and that the information contained therein and the services offered, e.g. to enhance safety, are reliable. If a trader decides to introduce an additional protection package, it must be implemented fairly – explains Tomasz Chróstny, President of UOKiK.

This is not the first action by the President of UOKiK against online platforms. The Office has previously examined how consumers are informed about the fees and functionalities of online platforms. The price should be known to the consumer in advance and include all components and, if these are not mandatory, the consumer should have an easily identifiable path to purchase without these charges. The company Vinted was penalised for similar inappropriate practices, by a decision of the President of the UOKiK.

Practices that use knowledge about consumers' online behaviour to influence their purchasing decisions in an unfair way are known as dark patterns. These can include, inter alia, exposing options more favorable for traders in the website architecture (e.g. paid services, consents for certain activities) and hiding those that the consumer would likely choose if presented in the same way.

If the allegations are confirmed, OLX may face a financial penalty of up to 10 per cent of its annual turnover.

Consumer Support:

Phone: 801 440 220 or 222 66 76 76 – consumer helpline
E-mail: [SCODE]cG9yYWR5QGRsYWtvbnN1bWVudG93LnBs[ECODE]
Consumer Ombudsmen – in your town or district
Financial Ombudsman - when a complaint has been rejected by a financial institution

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

Attached files

 

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