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Beware of online scammers.  Give preference to online stores from Europe, advises the head of the Trade Inspection

Beware of online scammers. Give preference to online stores from Europe, advises the head of the Trade Inspection

When you said you wanted to focus specifically on areas where the consumer could not defend themselves or only to a limited extent, what were they? what do you mean by that?

First of all, they are products, that is to say, they can be toys, electrical products, machinery products and other products that are here for the first time. There are online stores that weigh us down, namely Alpha and Omega. And of course, we also check the quality of the fuel. I think we have come so far over the years of inspections that the quality is very good here.

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According to your latest survey, more than 80% of online stores have broken the law. What do you do most often?

Of course, we don’t just deal with complaints when the consumer advertises the merchandise. Today, in short, you have decent online stores, and less decent ones on the Internet, and we can also say the so-called scams. Scammers started here when they were selling pot and today scammers are recruiting in certain areas where they see that they can earn money at that time. They go to certain groups of people that we are trying to protect and we do everything we can for that and we want to improve this business in the sense that the consumer has all the necessary information.

So what should e-store customers be looking for?

Today we have a page, where we identify bad and really risky online stores, so that consumers prefer to avoid them. This is very important. Of course, it is better to focus on online stores located within Europe, and not just go to those in China and in those countries where, first of all, we have no control and therefore we can responsibly classify these online stores as untrustworthy.

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In particular, those in the so-called shopping malls are untrustworthy. Shopping fair is actually online sales, but it is only from those countries such as China and other countries. I can give an example: We fined a company, saying that it was changing its reviews. One consumer wrote a one-star review and changed those reviews to improve their image.

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There are a lot of such watchdog organizations in our country. It must be said that the Czech Trade Inspection does not control the quality of food and tobacco products, but deals with them only from the point of view of the fairness of their sale. When your inspectors suspect that all is not well with the quality of the food, do they automatically alert their colleagues from the State Agricultural and Food Inspectorate?

In most cases, of course, we respond to consumers. The consumer should be more resolute and realize one thing: when they pour me a little beer, they give me not four dumplings, but only one, so I have to deal with it myself at once. It’s totally fine for me to point out. We will conduct the inspection, describe what is happening, and pass it on, for example, to hygiene.

When you talk about an upcoming alcohol event, it means controlling minors’ alcohol use, and you say it consciously up front. Is it really blocking somehow?

It is a ban. Of course, we do these checks throughout the year and this is an exceptional event that is done in one form or another every year, because alcohol among minors is a problem. If the kids buy it, I’ll drink it and they’ll learn, it’s wrong.

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What happens to the confiscated goods? What is the European Consumer Center? Listen to the full interview.