Since 1 September 2022, new regulations aimed at strengthening consumer protection have entered into force.
The background to the changes in the law is the Swedish implementation of the so-called the "Omnibus Directive", which should have been implemented this spring, but was delayed. With the changes in the law, existing rules are adapted to the ever-growing digital market and involve, among other things, the consumer protection legislation. This covers digital goods and services, and new obligations which are introduced for consumer-oriented businesses.
The changes that have taken place include changes to the Marketing Act, the Price Information Act, the Contract Terms Act and the Distance Contracts Act. Some of the key changes relate to:
In the case of price campaigns, companies must print what the lowest price was in the last 30 days before a price reduction.
If companies use customer reviews in the marketing of a product or service, they are obliged to inform that it is a verified customer review and how it has been ensured that it is a real customer with real experience of the product or service.
If you provide an e-commerce platform, you must inform about the criteria that determine how products are ranked, e.g. price or rating, as well as how these criteria are weighted against each other.
In case of individualised, automated pricing, the consumer must be informed that the pricing has been subject to automation, e.g. when prices change to reflect seasonal demand or if offers are given to the consumer based on purchase history.
Payment for digital services with personal data will now be covered by the consumer rules, e.g. the consumer is given a 14-day right of withdrawal when purchasing digital services, even when payment was made only through the provision of personal data.
If you break the new regulations, you risk high penalty fees of up to 4% of the company's turnover or a maximum of 2 million euros if information on annual turnover is missing, similar to what applies to violations of the GDPR.
In light of the increased demands for transparency and the high penalty fees that can be paid for breaches of consumer protection rules, companies that sell goods or services to consumers should take action now, if they have not already done so. A good start is to do a thorough review of the website through which you sell to consumers and update information on it. Existing purchase conditions, internal processes and guidelines should also be reviewed to ensure compliance with the rules.
Has your company adapted your operations and processes to the new rules, or have you recently started work and need legal support?
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.