On Sale? Maybe Not

Czech Trade inspections find nearly half of retailers are deceiving customers

You’ve probably noticed the claims of “akční ceny” (special prices) or “sezónní slevy” (seasonal discounts) or the like that adorn the windows of many shops in the Czech Republic. 

But have you ever walked into a shop and wondered where all the sales and discounts were?

Well, the Czech Trade Inspection Authority (Česká obchodní inspekce) carried out more than 1000 checks of such claims in the second quarter of 2015, and the results are revealing.

In a report titled “Goods at special prices and seasonal discounts – and do we know how much?” the Authority found that 493 shops – 47% of those tested – misled or deceived customers, or otherwise violated consumer rights.

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In total, over 700 violations of the Consumer Protection Act were found. 

26.5% of the violations were due to customers not being informed correctly and clearly about the prices of goods and services. In 15.9% of the cases, retailers were found to have violated principles of honesty in selling products or providing services. 

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Interestingly enough, Central Bohemia and the Prague region recorded the lowest number of infractions, with 26.9% of the shops inspected found to be in violation of the CPA.

The Plzeň and Karlovy Vary region recorded the highest number, with 65.4% of shops found to be in violation.

Full details of the report can be downloaded from the website of the Czech Trade Inspection Authority

This was not only an informational study. The Authority levied 400 fines against shops they found to be in violation of the CPA, totalling nearly 3 million crowns. 

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