Advertised prices of Dutch rental company for hardware and cars are now clearer
The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has instructed Bo-Rent, a Dutch rental company for equipment, tools, and cars, to display its prices with VAT included. Following reports from consumers, ACM had previously established that the company was displaying its prices without VAT included in its ads, both online and offline. Businesses that provide products and services to consumers must display their prices with VAT included. Bernadette van Buchem, Director of ACM’s Consumer Department, says: “We believe it is important that businesses display their prices in a fair and honest manner. Only then are consumers able to compare prices properly.”
Bo-Rent has already adjusted the prices on its website. Visitors to the website are now able to indicate whether they are consumers or businesses. Consumers will then get to see the prices with VAT included. Besides online, Bo-Rent also advertises its rental prices on their cars. All of these ads will be adjusted by the end of the year.
While checking the prices on Bo-Rent’s website, ACM also came across other issues on the website that were not in order. Optional services such as insurances for consumers renting cars were pre-selected. This is not allowed. Consumers must actively indicate themselves whether or not they want such options. For example, with regard to Bo-Rent’s self-storage units, information about the mandatory purchase of the lock was not included with the price. Issues such as these have also been handled by Bo-Rent in a swift manner.
One of ACM’s key priorities is having clear prices and conditions. These will enable consumers to make better comparisons and to make better choices, and these allow businesses to compete more fairly with one another. ACM can choose from various instruments with which it can tackle consumer problems. When choosing a certain strategy, ACM will always put consumers central in its decision-making process. In this particular case, ACM opted for a swift and targeted approach. In other cases, ACM may choose to impose fines.