Entrepreneurs run business looping from ethical rules to legal requirements. We are aware that doing business requires compliance with legal, ethical and unwritten rules – followed as a internal practice among the community.
These unwritten norms are fluid and often leave room for interpretation, while the law is strictly demanding. In particular, the law no. 71/2018 “On Consumer Protection” requires businesses to avoid the following situations:
Specifically, the legislator expects businesses to refrain from the following activities:
- Unfair Practices
- Disorienting Practices
- Aggressive Practices
- Unfair Publicity
- Comparative Publicity
Performing unprofessional behaviours toward the customers – while are expected acts of special skills and care towards them – is considered as “unfair practices”. Therefore, refrain from the following acts:
- Do not perform any act that might weaken the ability of the average customer to make a decision, as a result of the information provided.
- Such an act is only relevant when in any other occasion, uninfluenced by the information provided, the customer would not have made such a decision.
- Do not put into use unfair trading practices, or any other practice that is against the general principle of good faith in your field of business.
These practices affect consumer’s choice the same as the abovementioned. To that end, abstain from the following scenarios:
- Providing incorrect and/ or untrue information for your product, which might affect customers choice, on the possibility that if the information was correct- the customer would not have made such a decision.
Provide correct and true information regarding the:
- Existence or nature of the goods or services
- Main characteristics of the goods, such as availability, usefulness, application, composition, additional equipment, ect
- Key features of the service, such as availability, usefulness, risks, application, ancillary equipment, ect
- Level of the trader’s engagements
- Price or the way of its calculation
- Warranty on the need for a service, spare part, replacement or repair
- Nature, attributes and rights of the trader or his agents
- Consumer rights.
To that extent, have a care on:
- The marketing of goods or services
Especially to the “Comparative publicity” which might create confusion with any good, service, trademark, trade name or distinguishing mark of a competitor
- Commercial engagement with other traders
- Performing practices in conformity with laws and regulations
In order for an unfair practice to be considered as aggressive, it should:
- Affect consumer’s freedom of choice .
- Psychological and/ or physical violence is exercised to affect customers’ choice.
For that reason, these elements are taken into account:
- The duration of the practice, its location and nature.
- The use of threatening or abusive language or conduct.
- The use by the trader of any misfortune of the consumer’s circumstances of which the trader is aware in order to influence his decision.
- Performing acts which might make the fulfillment of contractual obligations impossible.
- Enacting any threat to take actions that the law forbids.
As we mentioned before, any seller should refrain from Unfair and Comparative Publicity.
Publicity is unfair when it is discriminatory on the basis of:
- Political beliefs
- Physical and mental characteristics.
Publicity is Comparative when it openly or implicitly identifies other competitive merchants and/ or goods or services provided by them.
- Misleads the consumer.
- Does not compress goods and services that meet the same needs or serve the same purpose.
- Unfairly benefits from the reputation from using another trademark, distinctive mark or market’s position of another competitor.
Performing fair and informative practices and publicity go beyond good morals in trade. The law requires obedience by any entrepreneur.
The following are real- life examples which you (as a business owner) should avoid:
- Limited Offers / Special Offers / Offers only for today!
Presenting an offer as being valid only for a short period of time, in order to affect the customer’s decision making.
- Advertising in Albanian, providing the customer service in another language
The situation when a contract is negotiated and concluded in Albanian, but the after-sales customer service is available in foreign languages- without the customer knowing this information from the beginning.
- Only for you!
Displaying customer’s rights- which are guaranteed by the law- as a special feature of the business’s offer.
- The shop is in liquidation process
Placing banners in the shop’s window for the purpose of selling all the goods faster, by claiming that the store will be closed soon.
- Aggressive door-to-door sales
Performing door-to-door sales and refusing to leave, despite the apartment’s owner asking for you to leave, unless you buy the product.
Today’s business doing might be challenging, but you can always refer to Legit for any legal advice and/ or service you might need.