17% of companies failed to comply with the requirement to display prices and settle transactions in two currencies during the period of parallel circulation

During the period of parallel circulation, 01.01-2011?14.01.2011, the Consumer Protection Board inspected 430 enterprises where non-compliance was detected in 72 (17%) cases.
20. 01. 2011
 

The most common violation detected (35%, 30 cases) was the difference between in-store and cash register prices, which was followed by rounding errors in 33% or 28 cases, and partial absence of the euro price in 11% or 9 cases. The Board also detected cases where the price on the cash register receipt was in kroons but it was denoted with ‘EUR’ and vice versa. Some cases where the final sum was rounded off to the nearest 10 euro cents were also detected.

Where violations were detected, the Board informed the company of the need to eliminate the shortcomings and of follow-up inspection.

Andres Sooniste, Director General of the Consumer Protection Board: „We were prepared to work with extra manpower. In reality, the two weeks of the parallel circulation period were more uneventful than we expected. The largest number of inquiries came from companies. Consumer inquiries made up nearly 2/3 of the total amount, which confirmed an earlier study concluding that people are well informed of the changeover to the euro.”

The Consumer Protection Board hotlines (1330 and 6 201 707) received a total of 341 inquiries on the changeover to the euro during the parallel circulation period. Most of these calls were from companies inquiring about the display of prices: how long should they be displayed in two currencies, in what format should they be displayed, and how should the settlement of transactions be managed during the parallel circulation period. The Board conducted inspection on the inquiries received by the hotlines on an ongoing basis.

The Board received 152 written inquiries during the parallel circulation period, most of which were also requests for additional information and advice from companies. In addition, consumers have submitted a number of hints on price increases. People tend to assume that the pledge „no euro price increase” of the Fair Pricing Agreement applies to all vendors.

More price rise inquiries were received about the companies that have not joined this agreement. People have also asked about changes in the value of deposits and the display of fuel prices. The latter is a source of confusion to consumers as fuel prices are displayed using three decimal places, which is not prohibited. The Board also received complaints on some stores that allegedly did not accept kroons during the parallel circulation period.

During the parallel circulation period (01.01–14.01), a total of 10 cases of suspected violation of the Fair Pricing Agreement were reported to the Consumer Protection Board. Based on consumer reports and hints of price increases in media, the Board has issued 7 clarification claims to the companies that have joined the Agreement.

Now the Board is expecting clarifications from these companies in order to determine whether a violation has occurred or not. The companies in question must also enclose to the clarification claims copies of delivery notes of goods substantiating the price increase.

 

Additional information:

Hanna Turetski

Head of the Consumer Policy and Public Relations Department

53 308076, 53 308076