Parliament: Gaps were identified in the legislation on sell-offs

Screenshot 14 Parliament, shops, sales

The President of the Committee, DISY Member of Parliament, Kyriakos Hatzigianni stated that we have unfortunately found that the supervisory authority which is the Consumer Protection Service does not operate in a deterrent manner. "Despite the programs it presents, however, huge gaps are left," he said, with the result that "there is no effective protection and prevention of any kind of profiteering or deception of consumers."
Mr. Hatzigianni said that loopholes were also identified in the legislation. "There is a code that is not followed. Consumers and the retail trade have also asked for the possibility to re-evaluate the necessity of making its provisions mandatory through legislation," he added.

There are often phenomena, he continued, where consumers when and if there are differences do not get a clue because there is simply no reference price, whether it is the price that was valid before or after or during the sales.

Mr. Hatzigianni mentioned that the Consumer Protection Service should approach the matter with a strategic approach so that it has a deterrent capacity, its control and its activity.

Instead, he noted, they enter into a logic of strict controls, to present numbers but that is not the point since they do not lead to results.

"We will re-evaluate the legislation as it stands today," he concluded.
For his part, AKEL Member of Parliament Kostas Kostas said that we heard serious complaints both from POVEK but mainly from the Consumers' Association, all of which we also hear in society.

"There is a code of ethics which is not mandatory to be followed by everyone and unfortunately we only have eight companies in Cyprus that follow it. And this is very important and we will see if this matter can be legislated", he noted.

Mr. Kostas said that "we see unfair practices, that is, changing the prices just before the sales and changing them again during the sales and basically not having any discount, not having sales and deceiving the people".

Because these days it's Black Friday that instead of being one day has become many days, he continued, and while we're talking about sales these days unfortunately they're not really sales.

In fact, he said, POVEK also reported "anarchy" in the field of sales and discounts.

"We asked to know how many complaints were made by the Consumer Protection Service in recent years and they typically told us that after 23 complaints in 2022, we had about 25 fines collected by the state last year for violating the relevant legislation, while this year until September we have a huge increase in fines, they have reached 70 thousand, which shows that unfortunately we have an increase in illegality", he added.

A major issue raised by the Consumers' Union, he said, is the fact that you can go buy something on sale and when you go back to exchange it, you're told the price is different and you have to pay out of pocket.

"We have requested that the controls of the Consumer Protection Service be increased, that the tactic of publicizing traders who have committed illegal acts and fines be imposed on them continue, and that a meeting convened by the competent Consumer Protection Service together with the POVEK, the Retail Trade Association and the consumer organizations to see how we can improve this institution and above all to stop the deception and exploitation of consumers", he added.

Source: KYPE