Consumer Authority: Garant-O-Matic modifies mailings to consumers
The Consumer Authority has received an undertaking from the company Garant-O-Matic that in the future it will abide by the rules on providing information to consumers. In the past Garant-O-Matic had wrongly created the impression in its mailings that the consumer had won a substantial cash prize, whereas in actual fact he only had the chance of winning the prize or a small share of it. The Consumer Authority received reports of this through ConsuWijzer and an enforcement request from the Belgian enforcement authority in connection with the company's activities targeting Belgian consumers. This was reason for the Consumer Authority to start an investigation into the company's commercial practices.
Garant-O-Matic is a mail-order company for health, beauty and gift articles that are sold to consumers through catalogues. To promote its sales, promotional campaigns are included in these catalogues where consumers receive a cash sum or have a chance of winning a substantial cash prize. In order to qualify, consumers must order products and pay additional costs.
The Consumer Authority found that Garant-O-Matic led consumers to believe with these promotional campaigns that they had won a large cash prize, whereas this was not in fact the case.
Garant-O-Matic acknowledged that it had made mistakes in the past. The Advertising Code Committee had already previously reprimanded the company on this matter. Garant-O-Matic has now made improvements in its provision of information to consumers on the promotional campaigns. The company has also promised with its future activities in both the Netherlands and Belgium to abide by the rules that apply to promotional campaigns. This undertaking means that consumers in the future will no longer receive confusing mailings and other information from this company. The Consumer Authority will monitor this closely and take tougher measures if the company fails to comply.