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Friday, July 19, 2024

T-Mobile. A large fine from the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection. The company announces an appeal

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The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) imposed a fine of PLN 25 million on T-Mobile Polska for misleading consumers in one of its advertisements. The company does not agree with the “form and amount” of the penalty and announces that it will appeal against this decision.

President UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny issued a decision regarding the telecommunications operator T-Mobile Polska. Doubts were raised by advertisements for the pre-paid offer “1200 GB free for a year”. They appeared all over Poland – in Polish and Ukrainian. The proceedings were initiated after the office received a consumer complaint.

“As established by the Office, the operator T-Mobile Polska misled consumers because the advertisements suggested that the data package was free of charge. In fact, instead of the promised 1,200 GB package, the consumer received 100 GB every month, provided that he topped up the account for a minimum of PLN 35 per month. “After a year, the amount he had to top up on his card would be PLN 420. However, this information was written in small font at the very bottom of the advertisement,” we read in a message published on the office’s website.

– Advertising slogans are designed to attract the consumer’s attention so that they are remembered and encourage them to purchase the advertised service. As a rule, the advertising message must be short, concise and clear. However, this does not authorize entrepreneurs to use false advertising. The consumer has the right to expect that the presented offer is fair and does not contain any catches. The actual promotion mechanism of T-Mobile Polska was based on the “installment” system, in which the consumer received a 100 GB package every month for 12 months, provided that the card was topped up with at least PLN 35 – says the president of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection, Tomasz Chróstny.

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For violating the collective interests of consumers, the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection imposed a fine of over PLN 25 million on T-Mobile Polska. (PLN 25,623,957). The decision is not final – the operator can appeal to the court.

T-Mobile announces the cancellation

We asked T-Mobile whether it intends to appeal against the fine imposed by the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection. In response, we received a message in which the operator notes that “like every offer we introduce, ‘1200 GB for free for a year’ was created in line with the mechanics specific to pre-paid services, in which the use of additional bonuses is always associated with having an active account or package, which in turn involves the obligation to top up monthly.

Additionally, the operator informs that as soon as UOKiK’s reservations appeared, i.e. at the beginning of this year, it started voluntary and fully open cooperation with the office, “taking the initiative and introducing changes in all advertising communication related to the offer, in accordance with the guidelines Office. During the proceedings, we also proposed a number of solutions aimed at redressing people who raised objections to the way the promotion was communicated – to our knowledge, there were only two such cases out of thousands of customers.

“After a thorough analysis of the justification for the decision of the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection, we strongly disagree with the form and amount of penalties imposed on T-Mobile Polska as part of the proceedings. We also declare that we intend to appeal against this decision within the deadline provided for by the regulations,” the statement stated.

Main photo source: Shutterstock



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