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Amazon Fined in Poland for Misleading Customers

 |  March 27, 2024

E-commerce giant Amazon has been hit with a hefty fine of 31 million zlotys ($7.8 million) by Poland’s consumer protection watchdog, UOKiK, for deceptive practices related to product availability and delivery commitments. The regulatory body disclosed on Wednesday that it had received several complaints from dissatisfied customers who did not receive their orders as promised.

“The average consumer has the right to assume that the purchase options, availability, and delivery times offered by traders are not misleading,” stated Tomasz Chrostny, the head of UOKiK, emphasizing the importance of transparency and reliability in online transactions.

One of the key issues highlighted by the regulator was the practice of displaying time counters on the Amazon website, suggesting a specific window for placing orders without a guaranteed delivery within the indicated timeframe. This tactic, according to UOKiK, misled customers into believing that their orders would arrive within the specified period, which often turned out to be inaccurate.

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Responding to the penalty, Amazon’s press office announced its intention to appeal the decision, as reported by Reuters. The company emphasized its commitment to customer satisfaction, noting that while the majority of deliveries are made on time, it acknowledges occasional delays or order cancellations and pledges to address such issues promptly.

“Over the last year, we have collaborated with UOKiK and proposed multiple voluntary amendments to continue to improve the customer experience on Amazon.pl. We strictly follow legal standards in all countries where we operate and we strongly disagree with the assessment and penalty issued by the UOKiK,” Amazon stated in an emailed response.

The fine imposed by UOKiK underscores the growing scrutiny faced by tech giants like Amazon over their business practices, particularly concerning consumer protection and fair competition. As the appeal process unfolds, all eyes will be on how Amazon navigates this regulatory challenge and its implications for online retail operations in Poland.

Source: Reuters