Decision of UOKiK about Security package at bank Millennium
Customers who signed a debit or credit card agreement with Bank Millennium between 28 March 2015 and 1 October 2016, automatically purchased a “Security Package” service. It included transaction notification via SMS and card insurance. After a free promotional period there is a service cost of PLN 3.99 per month. To cancel the “Security Package” service, customers had to call the hotline or visit the bank.
The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) carried out administrative proceedings and determined this as a potentially unfair market practice. The concern arose from the fact that the bank passed the responsibility for the “Security Package” cancellation onto its customers. A customer who wanted to cancel the service had to watch the date on which it turned into a paid one. Otherwise they could be charged for it against their will.
“It was impossible for a consumer to have the card without the additional package. They had to accept it to use the main service; that is the payment card. The bank probably hoped many people would not cancel the service after the promotional period, because they would forget or would not have time to do this”, says Marek Niechciał, the President of UOKiK.
UOKiK's ongoing proceedings prompted the bank to change the credit and debit card agreement templates. From 2 October 2016, customers may choose if they want to use the “Security Package” when they sign a payment card agreement.
Current and former payment card holders may submit complaints on the automatic “Security Package” activation. They can do this by 20 June 2018 (five months since the UOKiK’s decision becoming final). The bank will refund them the cost of this service. It must also resolve positively complaints already submitted and rejected. Moreover, the “Security Package” will be free for one month (in March 2018) for customers who signed agreements between 28 March 2015 and 1 October 2016 and still use this service.
The bank has already published UOKiK’s decision on its website (the announcement and the decision will be presented there for five months). The bank also must announce it in the “Rzeczpospolita” daily. Customers who signed card agreements between 28 March 2015 and 1 October 2016 and still have an active “Security Package”, will receive a letter or message via electronic banking system to remind them this service is voluntary and may be cancelled.