High fines for the company NO STRESS

(Prague, October 2, 2013) Despite numerous and repeated warnings against unfair commercial practices of sellers at sales demonstration events, the respective companies still get a lot of clients, especially seniors. They force these clients to buy products of “magic” characteristics whose price are much higher than the price of other comparable products in the market, and force them to conclude unfavourable contracts and non-standard agreements. “One of the new companies is the NO STRESS, s. r. o. company that managed to win against many other companies in terms of use of unfair commercial practices. So far, 7 fines amounting to 2.23 million CZK were imposed for the use of unfair commercial practices and other violations of the Act on Consumer Protection. The highest fine amounted to 800,000 CZK. We want to warn consumers against the company,” said Vladimír Velčovský, the Director General of the CTIA.

The limited company NO STRESS, registration No. (IČ) 24851442, was filed in the business register in November 2012 and already at a sales demonstration event in Cheb in January, the inspectors of the CTIA detected use of unfair commercial practices. The same findings, including other breaches of the Act on Consumer Protection, were described in inspection protocols from sales demonstration events held in in České Budějovice, Hradec Králové, Zlín, and Olomouc during the following months.

The following findings were very similar:
Inspectors, for example, repeatedly found that a “prize” was promised to consumers who would be the fastest to raise their hand. Several “winners” were subsequently told that they won a ceramic pan to which induction cooker, blankets, pillows, and so called VIP cards were added. At the same time they were told that they would get these prizes only if they sign a sales contract. Other participant of the event didn’t accept it, but one consumer concluded a sales contract concerning the price of 7,990 CZK.

At another sales demonstration event, participants-inspectors of the CTIA learned that they became winners of the main “prize”, i.e. products presented at the event, however in order to get it, they would have to buy a steam cleaner. At another event, a representative of the demonstrating company told several consumers that they won a golden bonus – all presented products. The only condition for getting the prize was their signature of a sales contract concerning the respective products in the amount of 29,990 CZK. Some participants gave up, but one consumer really concluded the contract. All the above mentioned cases concerned prohibited use of unfair commercial practices, namely deceitful information that a participant won despite it was necessary to pay a high amount of money to get the prize.

Further, the company NO STRESS also breached information obligations by untruthfully informing consumer about his rights related to withdrawal from the contract – namely, it required payment of 8,000 CZK for deactivation of a VIP card which is automatically activated when contract is concluded.

Other delicts included failure to inform consumers about prices of products, breaches of obligations determined for acceptance and settlement of claims or consumer discrimination – failure to let a properly applied participant (CTIA inspector) to an event. In several cases, breaches of the Act on Technical Requirements for Products were also detected.

From the start of the year, 18 inspections in total have been carried out at the company NO STRESS, s. r. o. During the same period, CTIA accepted 13 submissions from consumers who complained about violations of their rights by the above mentioned company. The violations concerned withdrawal from the contract, failure to settle claims, and other shortcomings.
For the proven repeated breaches of obligations determined by applicable legal regulations, the company NO STRESS was lawfully imposed 7 fines amounting to 2,230,000 CZK in total. Further investigations are in progress. The inspected subject did not pay any of the imposed sanctions in the determined time period and the amount owed was transferred to appropriate customs office as a claim to be collected.

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