companies respond to government accusations


A group of companies came out to answer the Consumer Defense accusations for alleged breaches of the law. Today’s examples and background

The companies that participated in the Hot sale 2020 that ended this Wednesday and that were accused by the Undersecretariat of Actions for the Defense of Consumers (SSADC) for alleged breach of Law 24240 on Consumer Defense are really evaluating what they are accused of.

Several of them not only found out about the accusation when the statement was distributed by the agency, but those that were previously notified do not quite understand what the aforementioned is about accusation.

Until Wednesday morning, the undersecretary under the Ministry of Productive Development led by Matías Kulfas charged Personal, Movistar, Red Megatone, Jumbo, Suavestar, Despegar, Garbarino, Al Mundo, Cetrogar, Philco, Dexter, Netshoes, Fravega, The Toy World, Walmart, Sodimac and Mercado Libre. To all for the same underlying reasons but for reasons that differ depending on the case.

The companies questioned so far –because the agency left open the possibility of this being expanded- are in a different situation: some responded, others preferred silence and a third group is evaluating the observations received.

Of the Hot Sale 2020 More than 700 companies participated, a record number for this type of promotional actions and, until the second day, sales grew more than 30% in the number of transactions, which already anticipated a good closing of this edition despite the restrictions with which Most companies are operating more in the tight pocket of Argentine consumers.

One of the accused companies was Walmart. “We are analyzing the imputation in detail. For now, CACE audits promotions with the UBA as part of a scheme to provide transparency and security to consumers. For the rest, in our specific case, the notification we received yesterday from the Secretary of Commerce mentions that from the analysis of our offers it emerged that a single product (Suavestar Luxury 1-Square Mattress with box spring), out of a total of more than 2,400 participating of the event, it was sold on Friday, July 24 at $ 19,900 and at Hotsale we offer it at $ 11,990 but indicating that the previous price was $ 20,999 (instead of $ 19,900), “he explained to iProfessional, Juan Pablo Quiroga, manager of institutional relations at Walmart.

Walmart noted that the Consumer Defense observation is not about the discounted price

The executive continued: “Although the consumer discount is over 40%, what we see is that the price indicated as the” previous “should be $ 19,990 and not $ 20,999. We are analyzing whether this situation was due to an error or an increase in the list prices of the product. The truth is that the offer in Hot sale, in any of the two cases, it is still over 40% off, “he stressed.

Like a month ago

Since Personal, meanwhile, they asserted that, in relation to the complaint received by the consumer protection agency, “the differential offer presented in the framework of the action Hot Sale 2020 complies with current regulations and the spirit of commercial action. Personal offers 60% discount for 12 months on the list price, for those users of other companies that carry their line to Personal and incorporates as a differential in the framework of the Hot Sale, 10 additional gigabytes and without charge for those who access this benefit per month, for three months. ”

As the supermarket chain did, the telecommunications company clarified that this difference “far exceeds the 10% minimum discount suggested in the bases and conditions of the Hot Sale 2020“, in addition to clarifying that the benefit is clearly detailed in the communications made by the company.

MovistarFor its part, it had not been notified of the alleged complaint until the closing of this article.

However, what happened in these last two cases is reminiscent of what the same agency did a month ago when it issued a similar statement, in which it reported that Telecom, Telefónica and Telecentre they had been charged for consumer complaints in May.

Without detracting from consumer complaints, which are valid, the companies had failed to make their presentation when the agency distributed its statement. Since Personal they clarified, at that time, that an imputation was being faced when the company had not yet carried out its discharge in accordance with the law.

Then, he was concerned to point out that the accusation was accompanied by 145 complaints, of which only 28 had been notified with a conciliation stage at that time. Personal has more than 20 million clients, and more than 28 million if you add the fixed telecommunications clients.

Defense of the Consumer pointed out that the accused companies have five days to make their release

Defense of the Consumer pointed out that the accused companies have five days to make their release

On that occasion, Movistar expressed himself in the same sense. The Argentine mobile telephony market accuses some 60 million lines, of which some 40 million are considered effectively active.

This time, Personal and Movistar were accused of maintaining the same prices as last week for some products, fact that both companies discarded and that Telecom took care to counter by illustrating the specific case.

Tourism too?

Another group of companies mentioned were tourism, such as Take off and To the world. And history repeats itself. At the close of this article, none of the companies had been notified of the situation.

From Despegar, however, they noted that “we have always struggled for clarity in our prices and promotions, seeking the best opportunities for our travelers. The industry prices are dynamic for different reasons, just to name a few, the same plane seat or hotel room may undergo changes depending on the availability of our suppliers, the load factor, seasonality, type of service, anticipation of purchase, average stay, etc. From the company we emphasize that we work with total transparency and in accordance with the legislation established by the country. ”

Mercado Libre was also mentioned in the group of companies questioned “for all the cases where the offer of the mentioned companies was made on the portal, because their actions would not be limited to the mere intermediation between suppliers and consumers, but rather promoted and offers the Hot Sale incorporating a link so that consumers can access the full list of stores and products offered. ” And it is responsible for affecting the good faith of the consumer. Since Free market they pointed they had no comments to make.

The agency reported that the companies were notified on July 28 and that they have five business days for their release, which are non-renewable. In addition, he recalled, that fines can reach $ 5 million.

Late on Wednesday, the Argentine Chamber of Electronic Commerce itself issued a statement in which it recalled that the supervision of the offers is carried out in conjunction with the UBA Sociology degree and that, as a preventive measure, it requested companies to disputed offers will be withdrawn.

“CACE learned of the official files initiated by the Undersecretary of Actions for the Defense of Consumers (SSADC), regarding the alleged breach of the Consumer Defense Law (No. 24,240) in some of the promoted offers, belonging to 17 companies participating in the Hot sale. The Chamber, in its capacity as coordinator of the Hot sale, follow this topic carefully. Preventively, while the administrative process is evolving, the companies were contacted to request the withdrawal of the offers questioned by said body, “the entity’s statement said.

He stressed that in this edition the 711 participating companies presented more than 2 million offers and that, as this promotional action aims to promote electronic commerce, it is a requirement of this activity to comply with the bases and conditions to be part of it. One of the requirements of this edition was to offer a minimum discount of 10 percent.

The legal areas of the companies involved are working not only to determine what errors could have been made or what infractions would have occurred, while the sales areas celebrate that the transactions with respect to the previous edition have grown by 30% when the context for a promotional action of this type is the most unfavorable that is remembered since the Hot sale, back in 2014.

Since the new edition of the Hot Sale 2020 Thousands of users complained of alleged deception in the prices of the products offered by the participating companies, as happens every year. The discounts applied by companies are on the products they decide and not on the total stock of what they have published. It is the reason why most designate a special area for promotion days, so that it differs from what does not go into action.

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