Czech government clears consumer rights boost
The Czech Republic’s national record on consumer protection has not been outstanding with scandals often erupting about sharp practices by salesmen and companies. But ministries on Monday won support for moves to clarify and strengthen consumer rights.
The Czech government on Monday moved to remedy some of the problems by clearing the Ministry of Industry and Trade and Ministry of Justice to jointly come up with a new consumer law that should address some of the biggest problems.
One of those is the confused state of Czech consumer legislation with at least three laws sometimes covering the same issue and consumers and companies both confused about where they stand. The new law promises to be a lot simpler and transparent for all concerned, for instance, stating what are the obligations of buyers and sellers in one place.
It should also seek to address specific current problems linked with the practice of many companies bullying buyers to agree to pay for services or goods over the phone although they have barely understood the full implications of what they are agreeing to.
The new consumer law should spell out that such contracts only have full legal effect when they are signed and that phone agreements have no standing with buyers able to back out of such agreements without any penalty.
But it should be underlined that the consumer protection boost is still a proposal with backing from the current government only. As industry ministry Jiří Havlíček pointed out, fleshing out the full details should fall to a future government following elections in October: "This demands a very difficult legal overhaul which will demand some time. We believe that if we can limit this duration to the middle of 2019 it should be possible given what we have to do."