25 March 2021, Budapest – The Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) continues to recommend consumers to exercise increased caution since the Authority has received several informal complaints in the past period which reported commercial practices exploiting the COVID-19 global pandemic. It is also important to pay attention when ordering online.

         The GVH called the attention of undertakings to the increased expectations regarding the development of responsible communication practices as early as at the beginning of the pandemic, which included not claiming that their products possess protective, preventive or healing properties without supporting such claims with facts. This is due to the fact that potential customers may be especially vulnerable during these times; when making their consumer decisions, they may disregard any other factors in favour of the expected healing effects, including their own financial means.

         In the past period, the GVH received multiple informal complaints which suggest that consumers are still exposed to objectionable advertising practices. Therefore, the GVH continues to recommend increased caution and careful reading of product properties to everyone, in particular before purchasing dietary supplements. In addition, the GVH once again calls the attention of manufacturers and suppliers that it is prohibited to attribute medicinal effects to products that can be marketed as food.

         Due to store closures, online shopping has also entered the spotlight once more. The GVH calls the attention of consumers to carefully reading the General Terms and Conditions (GTC) of the undertakings. These may contain essential provisions such as minimum order value, delivery time, payment terms, complaint handling, and the contact details of the undertaking. It is definitely worth being aware of this information before ordering to avoid future inconvenience.

GVH Press Office

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