UOKiK punished a compensation chancellery
In April 2017 the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) started proceedings against Manufaktura, a compensation chancellery from Wrocław.
UOKiK had reservations about some clauses which Manufaktura included in its contracts:
- The firm stipulated that clients could not terminate their contract. Under the applicable law, they have the right to do that. If the grounds for termination should prove insignificant, they will have to reimburse part of the expenses already incurred by the firm.
- Manufaktura quoted net prices rather than gross prices. Under the applicable law, each undertaking must inform about the full price which includes taxes.
“The operation of compensation law firms is of particular importance to these consumers who cannot afford the services of professional legal counsels or attorneys at law. Insurance companies frequently make it difficult for consumers to seek redress on their own – in some cases they refuse to pay compensation or reduce the amount thereof. An average consumer has neither expert knowledge nor experience with such matters, hence the development of law firms to address these issues. At the same time, we support the work on regulation of this market conducted by the Senate,” says Marek Niechciał, President of UOKiK.
UOKiK approves of the maximum remuneration for services provided by compensation law firms or compulsory third-party liability insurance. We request that contracts be concluded in writing and employees of the law firm be obliged to inform consumers about certain matters. We also wish for principles of determination of remuneration for law firms or termination of contracts by clients to be established.
The Manufaktura compensation law firm must pay a fine amounting to PLN 10,196 and notify consumers of the decision of the President of UOKiK by registered letter. The decision of UOKiK will also be published on the company’s website. The firm ceased the impugned practices, which affected the amount of the fine. The decision is not final because Manufaktura has decided to appeal.