Online retailers in Romania don’t observe the domestic legislation on promotion campaigns, the Competition Council revealed on Thursday following an inquiry on the e-commerce. The investigation says that the reference price during the Black Friday campaign last year, for instance, has been increased and then artificially maintained.
Therefore, the competition watchdog has found out that the reference price to which the discount was being applied was much higher than the level stipulated by the law, for about 80% of the monitored products.
According to the emergency ordinance no 99/2000, any retailer which intends to make a discount must report to a reference prices, namely to the lowest price used at the same selling point in the past 30 days.
Moreover, the Competition Council has found out that in approx. 29% of the products monitored on Black Friday 2017, the cut price was even higher than the maximum selling price displayed in the past 30 days. So, this points to an artificial increase/maintenance of the reference price on Black Friday and to a distorted perception among customers on the real price of the product.
“This practice, to artificially increase and maintain the reference price for promotions (for instance Black Friday) create the impression among customers that they benefit of a higher discount than in reality. Actually, consumers pay a price similar to the one outside the campaign, which could represent a law breach,” said Bogdan Chiritoiu, the president of the Competition Council.