Andres Sooniste, Director General of the Consumer Protection Board, said, “We are glad to see that less and less companies make mistakes about the requirement of showing the prices in two currencies, which indicates that companies are taking a more serious attitude to the responsibilities related to the coming of euro. Decrease in violations gives us hope that most of the companies will have eliminated the shortcomings by the time of euro adoption.”
109 companies, i.e. 20% of the inspected companies were discovered to be violating the requirement. Euro price was completely missing in 11 and partly missing in 37 companies. The wrong exchange rate had been used in 14 cases and most of the violations were related to wrong rounding off – 62 cases.
The above-mentioned number of inspections included 90 follow-up inspections during which it was discovered that 7 companies had still not corrected their euro prices.
46 penalty fees regarding the violations were issued in the total amount of 33,970 kroons (156,070 kroons as from 1 July 2010).
The Consumer Protection Board has inspected ca 3,210 companies during the period. The number of general violations has decreased but now the biggest problem instead of showing the price is keeping to the rounding-off rules. The third place is occupied by the use of wrong exchange rate.
Hereby, the Consumer Protection Board would like to draw consumers' attention to the fact that mistakes in rounding-off and using the wrong exchange rate may seem irrelevant. But we have to keep in mind the fact that one euro cent equals to 15.6466 Estonian cents. Adding just a couple of euros to the price would mean a price increase of more than 30 kroons.
Sooniste added, “The day of changeover to euro is coming closer and closer and thus the need not only to know but also to feel the value of the items in euros is getting more practical. The latter is foremost necessary to avoid unpleasant surprises while performing the usual daily purchases.”
In addition to the Consumer Protection Board, the inspection of showing euro prices was also carried out by Tallinn City Government who discovered that 71 companies out of 105 violated the requirements of showing the price, i.e. the violation percentage is 68%. In October, penalty fees were issued 37 in the amount of 16,680 kroons.
The Consumer Protection Board will definitely continue the inspection of euro prices during the last months of the kroon, dual circulation and during the first half of the next year when next to euro prices, prices in kroons have to be shown as well.
Head of Consumer Policy and Public Relations Department
Consumer Protection Board