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Omnibus introduces significant changes aimed at eliminating the phenomenon of misleading consumers. One of the most important changes is the obligation imposed on entrepreneurs to present, in addition to information about the reduced price, also information about the lowest price of a given product or service that applied in the last 30 days before the reduction was introduced. In the case of products that deteriorate quickly or have a short shelf life, in addition to the reduced price, information about the price before the first reduction must be included. These rules will apply both in the case of online sales, as well as in stationary stores, as well as in advertisements for goods or services in which the price of the product is presented.
Platforms, including e-shops, will be obliged to present clear rules for placing products or services, in particular by presenting the main parameters determining the visibility of products presented to the consumer as a result of the search. These are parameters that are responsible for the placement of a given offer in the search results, such as quality indicators used by the platform, keyword accuracy, overall seller ranking, visual features of the offer, quality of customer service. Thanks to this, consumers will have a chance to understand the mechanisms of positioning network results. What's more, sellers will have to inform consumers about individual price adjustments.
According to the changes introduced by the Omnibus Directive, it will be considered an unfair practice to mislead consumers by referring to product reviews from consumers who actually did not use the product. The seller will therefore be obliged to indicate whether and what actions it takes to verify the review in terms of whether it comes from a person who actually used or purchased the product. In addition, it will also be considered misleading to post (or commission publication to another person) other false opinions or consumer recommendations.
In order to ensure the effectiveness of the regulations introduced, the legislator provided for high sanctions for entrepreneurs who do not comply with the changes. Thus, in the case of failure to fulfill the obligations related to informing about the reduced price, entrepreneurs will face financial penalties of up to 20 thousand zlotys. If the violations are repeated three times within 12 months - the penalty may amount to even 40 thousand zlotys. The Inspection of Trade will be responsible for the control and imposition of the above-mentioned penalties. Furthermore, if entrepreneurs use fictitious discounts, the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection may consider such practice as infringing collective interests of consumers, and then the maximum penalty may amount to even 10% of the turnover achieved in the financial year preceding the year of imposition of the penalty. Also, failure to fulfill the obligation to inform about the individual adjustment of the price may be considered as a practice infringing collective interests of consumers consisting in violation of the obligation to provide consumers with reliable, true and full information and, consequently, may result in the imposition of the above-mentioned sanctions by the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection.
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