Civil actions against Luxstyle and Viagogo
Bern, 03.10.2017 - The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO has brought civil actions against the Danish company Luxstyle and the Geneva-based company Viagogo. The civil action against Luxstyle was filed on 29 June 2017 in the Commercial Court of the Canton of Bern, while the action against Viagogo was filed on 21 September 2017 in the Commercial Court of the Canton of Zurich. Both civil actions aim to stop the two companies from using certain business practices which, in SECO’s view, are unfair.
In December 2016, SECO issued a warning related to the lack of transparency on the website www.stylelux.ch. Members of the public had complained that they had received goods without having placed an order. There were also complaints that fees and customs charges were invoiced on delivery without being mentioned previously.
The website www.stylelux.ch is operated by Lux International Sales ApS, a company based in Odense in Denmark, and sells cosmetics and beauty care products. Lux International Sales ApS also markets the same products via advertisements on Facebook and Instagram.
In doing so, the company has failed to comply with the transparency provisions that apply to online shops under the Federal Act on Unfair Competition (UCA) and the requirements under the Ordinance on Price Indication (PIO). SECO’s main complaint is that the site fails to provide a complete summary of orders or to offer the opportunity to correct orders. In addition, final prices are not correctly indicated and no reference is made to possible customs duties, customs clearance fees or Swiss VAT.
SECO has received over 200 complaints about Luxstyle from customers in Switzerland.
By bringing a civil action against Viagogo, SECO’s aim is to ensure the website of this ticket resale exchange is made more transparent for users around the world. SECO has received over 260 complaints in the past two years, many of which are from abroad. The SECO civil action demands that Viagogo should always clearly indicate the actual price to be paid on its website. This final price must include VAT and other non-optional surcharges, such as service and delivery charges. In addition, Viagogo should be required to indicate clearly on its website that its business is to resell tickets. Viagogo should also be prohibited from exerting artificial pressure on potential customers and from using certain misleading expressions such as ‘low prices’, ‘no call-queueing’, etc.
It is now up to the two commercial courts to decide whether these business practices are unfair.
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