July 1 will mark the start of the summer sales in Belgium, a period favored by consumers to find good deals, but tarnished by a practice that has increased in recent years: fake promotions. Indeed, some traders announce price reductions based on artificially inflated prices. Good news: those days are over! From now on, any price reduction displayed must be applied in relation to the lowest price charged during the previous 30 days, announces the FPS Economy.
“Consumers looking for a bargain need to know exactly what they’re saving over the original price. As a consumer, we are entitled to it. I will therefore ask the Economic Inspectorate to pay particular attention during the next sales period to ensure that this right is respected, both online and offline,” said Eva De Bleeker, State Secretary for Consumer protection. Checks, carried out during the last winter sales, which resulted, out of 171 companies, in 45 violations in 35 of them, or 20% of the stores checked.
From now on, apart from a few exceptions for which the obligation to apply a reference price does not apply, a reduction announced by a trader must be “exact, real and not misleading”. However, have you been the victim of deceptive practices? You can report it via point-of-contact of the FPS Economy, whose Economic Inspectorate will decide whether or not to open an investigation.