CR – The Czech Trade Inspection, based on consumer suggestions, focuses on inspections of internet sellers offering the sale of “undelivered” or “lost parcels” or so-called “surprise packages”.
This phenomenon has gained momentum in the Czech internet environment in recent months, and ČOI is currently carrying out several inspections of internet sellers.
“We respond immediately to consumer suggestions, of which we have actually registered dozens recently. We map e-shops and sellers who offer this method of sale to Czech consumers. We carry out inspections of entities offering packages of unknown content and origin, which advertise as resale of undelivered or lost parcels of transport companies or sale of surprise packages. In addition to control purchases, part of our activity is the control of contractual conditions, because many consumers complained, for example, about the impossibility of returning the package within the legal deadline, as well as checking the authenticity of published reviews,” says ČOI central director Jan Štěpánek.
“I have to ask Czech consumers to be cautious and warn them to consider their purchases carefully and to know with whom they are entering into a contract on the Internet and against whom they will eventually exercise their rights. To pay attention to the terms of trade, discussion forums and recommendations of consumer organizations and other trusted sources. And above all, that before making a purchase remotely, they use common sense and consider the risks they may face in the online environment,” adds ČOI central director Jan Štěpánek.
The petitions draw attention to, among other things, the fact that consumers received only worthless trinkets in the “mystery box” for which they paid a price in the order of one hundred crowns, that the seller denied them their right to withdraw from the distance contract and return the goods within the legal period of 14 days, or that sellers do not communicate with them.
“Our control activity is still ongoing and we will of course inform the public about its results and possible risks for consumers. Based on findings so far within the scope of the ČOI’s competences, we are checking whether some of the inspected persons are not violating the Consumer Protection Act, for example the provisions of § 4 unfair business practices and others, whether they are publishing false reviews and the like,” adds the director of the Inspectorate of the Central Bohemian Region and Hl. m. Prague Karel Mojžíš, who is significantly involved in the control activities.