Consumer Protection Act Amended
25. 01. 2016
The Act no. 378/2015 Coll., to amend Act no. 634/1992 Coll., on consumer protection (hereafter referred to as „Consumer Protection Act“). has come into effect as of 28. 12. 2015. The Act is a result of transposition of several EU directives into Czech domestic legislation. These directives generally aim at enhancing consumer protection and at harmonizing the level of consumer protection throughout the EU.
The said amendment is going to affect mainly disputes between businesses, as sellers or service providers, and consumers. Two new obligations are introduced: an obligation to provide information about alternative dispute resolution (ADR) of a dispute and an obligation to take an active part in the alternative dispute resolution.
To meet the information obligation the economic operators must inform the consumer, in a clear, comprehensible and accessible manner, about whom to turn to in the event of a consumer complaint to be addresses by way of ADR, including the internet address of the responsible entity. If the operator has its own website, the information must appear also there. The same rule applies to any General Terms and Conditions a contract with the consumer refers to. With respect to these obligations, the amended Consumer Protection Act becomes effective as of 1. 2. 2016. However, the operators are granted a period of 3 months to modify their General Terms and Conditions, i.e. they have until 1. 5. 2016 to do so. A failure to perform the information obligations is subject to a fine of up to CZK 1 000 000.
As regards the obligation of active participation in ADR, the consumer may initiate an ADR procedure only after he or she has attempted and failed to resolve the dispute directly between parties. The consumer thus must first address the business with their complaint. If the consumer consequently turns to the appropriate body with their complaint, then the operator shall be notified of the motion immediately and has a duty by law to respond to the complaint in a relatively short period of 15 days and provide necessary cooperation. Again, a failure to do so is subject to fine of CZK 1 000 000.
Further, the amended Act covers some general questions and newly defines terms such as unfair commercial practice and aggressive commercial practice. Previously used term misleading commercial practice was replaced with two terms, namely (i) deceptive acts and (ii) misleading omissions, and these terms are substantially newly defined.
Misleading omission newly involves a situation when the operator fails to provide to the consumer an essential piece of informationor provides it in an unclear, incomprehensible or ambiguous manner. Essential information means first and foremost the price of the product or service, but also payment terms, delivery terms, terms for returns or complaints. With respect to price, it needs to be noted that it is strictly required that the price of the product or service is quoted including all taxes, fees and other monetary payments. If it´s not possible to quote the price in advance, then the formula according to which it will be calculated must be stated. Failure to quote the price amounts not only to deceptive conduct but also represents a failure of statutory information obligation which carries a fine of up to CZK 5 000 000.
Section 5c of the Consumer Protection Act has to be highlighted as a novelty whereby the burden of proof has been shifted from the buyer to the seller. The supervisory authority may now demand that the seller proves that the factual claims made as part of their commercial practice are correct. If the seller fails to do so or the evidence fails to convince the supervisory authority, the seller will not prevail in the case.
Given the new obligations and duties and in view of the high fines, we recommend that operators pay due attention to the amendment and modify their websites as well as General Terms and Conditions accordingly.
- Legalink News: Covid-19 Pandemic in Czech Republic (01. 04. 2020)
- Current information Covid-19 / Employee Confirmation (16. 03. 2020)
- COVID-19 IMPLICATIONS FOR LABOUR RELATIONS (11. 03. 2020)
- THE REAL ESTATE BROKERAGE ACT (11. 02. 2020)
- AMENDMENT OF THE ACT ON THE RESIDENCE OF FOREIGN NATIONALS IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC AND CHANGES TO THE EMPLOYMENT REPORTING OBLIGATIONS (10. 10. 2019)
- Not registered in the Register of Beneficial Owners yet? What else you can manage to do by the end of the year? (26. 09. 2019)
- On the Draft Legislation on the Protection of Whistleblowers (19. 09. 2019)
- Legal governance of professional athletics in the Czech Republic (22. 08. 2019)
- Item of News - Personal Data Processing Act (31. 05. 2019)
- Personal Data Processing Act Adopted, Including New Rules on the Handling of Personal Identification Numbers (29. 03. 2019)
- Grace Period for Work Incapacity Abolished as of July 2019 (01. 03. 2019)
- Amended Trademark Law takes effect as of January 2019 (13. 02. 2019)
- Recording of beneficiary owners (26. 10. 2018)
- Laws and regulations in the pipeline businesses should watch out for towards the end of the year (13. 09. 2018)
- Amendment to the Public Procurement Act (30. 01. 2018)
- Vehicle transfer - registration (29. 01. 2018)
- Amendment to the act on special health-care services (31. 12. 2017)
- Labor code amendment (18. 12. 2017)
- Amendment of the employment act (14. 12. 2017)
- Amendment of the Labor Inspection Act (08. 12. 2017)
- The New Responsibility of Legal Persons to Disclose their Beneficiary Owner (21. 09. 2017)
- Amendment to the Building Act and Societies for the Protection of Nature and the Landscape (25. 08. 2017)
- Timely Preparation for the New Version of Personal Data Protection Regulation (30. 06. 2017)
- Prior Medical Instructions in Medical Law (13. 06. 2017)
- Copyright Act Amended (13. 04. 2017)
- The Insolvency Act Extensively Amended (07. 04. 2017)
- The Act on the Origin of Assets (30. 03. 2017)
- A New Legal Framework for the Protection of Personal Data (14. 11. 2016)
- The 2017 Minimum Wage (10. 11. 2016)
- CORPORATE CRIMINAL LIABILITY ACT AMENDED (14. 10. 2016)
- „RECAST“ OF THE LABOR CODE (05. 09. 2016)
- THE CZECH BAR ASSOCIATION CHARGED WITH ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION (ADR) (05. 02. 2016)
- Travel Claims (01. 12. 2015)
- Entries to public registries recordable directly by notaries (03. 09. 2015)
- Code of Civil Procedure and Enforcement Rules Amended: more protection of the unencumbered spouse (02. 08. 2015)
- Notification of tax-exempt income - a new duty when filing individual income tax return (01. 06. 2015)
- Amendment to the Public Procurement Act (15. 05. 2015)
- HEALTH SERVICES AND HEALTHCARE IN THE LIGHT OF THE PRIVATE LAW RECAST – TWO-TRACK LEGISLATION (11. 03. 2015)
- Contract of Inheritance among Novelties in the Law of Succession (21. 01. 2015)
- Mandatory Electronic Communication with the Tax Administrator (19. 01. 2015)
- Topical Issue: Energy Performance of Buildings Certificate (03. 12. 2014)
- POSSIBILITY TO REGISTER MACHINES IN THE LAND REGISTRY, SO-CALLED RESERVATION FOR MACHINES (30. 05. 2014)
- NEW DUTY TO PUBLISH DATA ON THE INTERNET (28. 04. 2014)
- Beware of pre-contractual liability (31. 03. 2014)
- ARTICLES OF ASSOCIATION OF COMPANIES UNDER THE ACT ON CORPORATIONS (20. 02. 2014)
- CONTRACT ON PERFORMANCE OF DIRECTORSHIP AND CONCURRENCE OF OFFICES AFTER CIVIL CODE RECAST (19. 02. 2014)
- Private Law Recast and the Labor Code (11. 02. 2014)
- Compensation of Wage or Salary during Sick Leave as of January 1, 2014 (28. 11. 2013)
- Legislation Accompanying the New Civil Code (29. 10. 2013)
- New Civil Code (02. 09. 2013)