Labour backs further protection for businesses from misleading practices

Discussing papersLabour’s MEPs yesterday voted for further action and additional measures to support businesses affected by misleading market practices.

The European Parliament has called for companies who repeatedly carry out misleading market practices to be blacklisted.   Labour supports the exclusion of those companies with misleading practices from EU procurement and funding – going a step further than the Tories and Lib Dems.

Glenis Willmott, Labour MEP for the East Midlands, said: “We’ve been campaigning to get tougher rules on deceptive organisations, such as the European City Guide Scam, which has left a great number of businesses out of pocket.

“They ask businesses to update their details in directories seemingly for free, but the very small print indicates it is a contract and they must pay up to several thousand euros each year.”

Many small businesses are tricked into signing a document which they believe to be an application for a free entry in a Guide.    It turns out to be a “contract” for 3 years, costing an average £500 per annum.    Reluctance to pay initiates a period of harassment which may continue over a number of years.

“I’ve received a number of emails, letters and phone calls over the years from local companies in relation to these City Guide Scams.

“These large-scale marketing practices have caused considerable economic damage and the main problem is that the level of protection for European businesses varies across different countries leaving a legal grey area.

“We need to take Europe-wide action now by ensuring businesses are protected cross-border and penalties are proportionate but dissuasive.”


ENDS


More information on the scams is available here; http://stopecg.org/ or http://www.fsb.org.uk/surreyandwestsussex/nboard/scams 

 

 

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