Cyprus Finance Minister pleased with drop in fuel prices
Cyprus Parliament passes new law prohibiting questionable sales practices
December 09, 2007
The Cyprus House of Representatives has passed a new law prohibiting 31 kinds of questionable sales practices, which are now considered unacceptable under any circumstances.
As from December 12 when the law comes into effect, businesses will have to stay on their toes to keep on the right side of the law.
For example, many times customers rush to buy a product because the seller says that it will be available at that price only for a limited time period, but the 'discount' period is extended further and further.
This practice has now become illegal, together with the practice followed by some businesses, which have a very limited number of products to meet demand over a special sales period and tell their customers to buy a similar more expensive product instead.
From now on shops will not be able to advertise special prices for "closing down" or "moving", implying in this way that they sell at rock-bottom prices, for many months in a row. Also gift offers where consumers end up paying to receive their prize, as well as untrue claims about a product's ability to cure an illness are now prohibited practices.
Another dishonest practice is that followed by some real estate agencies or car dealerships that pose as private individuals. This is no longer allowed. The same holds true of continuous and unsolicited calls, fax messages, e-mails and other communication from companies, particularly when buyers ask in writing not to be bothered again.
Aggressive sales tactics also feature in the black list, including door-to-door salespeople refusing to leave with out making a sale. Likewise, it will be illegal for salespeople to tell clients that their jobs are on the line if they don't make a purchase.
The same applies to employing harassment, threats, physical violence or influence.
Particularly timely for the Christmas season is the aggressive practice of vendors persuading children to purchase or persuading their parents or other adults to buy them advertised products, which is clearly defined as illegal in the new law.
Finally untrue claims made by businesses that they have ISO, TUV or HASSAP certifications are punishable under the law.