Consumer Authority has plug pulled on website Ufoflug
As requested by the Netherlands Consumer Authority [Consumentenautoriteit], its German counterpart organisation - the Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmiddelsicherheit - has pulled the plug on the Dutch website for United Fly Organisation GMBH. This website (ufoflug.com), which sells flights to Morocco, was failing to comply with the statutory requirements applicable for the sale of services via the Internet. The Consumers' Association [Consumentenbond] reported this case to the Consumer Authority.
Following an investigation, the Consumer Authority was of the opinion that the website failed to comply with the information obligation applicable for web retailers in a number of ways. For example, flights could be booked for customers without customers having explicitly agreed to this. The website also lacked the business details that customers would need to ask questions or make complaints.
Because a German company was behind the website, the Consumer Authority asked its German sister organisation to approach the company with the request that it close the website down. The company complied with this request for the part of the site on which Dutch consumers could book flights.
Since 1 January 2007, there has been a European network of regulators that can take concerted action when a company engages in the cross-border violation of consumer rules. The statutory basis for this is a new European regulation. This is the first time that a cross-border violation of the consumer rules has been tackled successfully under this regulation.