17 consumer associations file complaints for deception and manipulation

17 consumer associations file complaints for deception and manipulation
17 consumer associations file complaints for deception and manipulation

UFC-Que Choisir is one of 17 European consumer associations which have filed a complaint against the online commerce site Temu, accused of deception and vagueness in the information displayed.

Europe closes ranks against Temu. Some 17 European consumer associations, including UFC-Que Choisir, announced on Thursday that they had filed a complaint against the Chinese online commerce platform. They accuse the latter of manipulating Internet users and violating several provisions of the EU Digital Services Regulation (DSA).

Temu, which has more than 75 million monthly users in the EU, “is riddled with misleading interfaces – dark patterns – to encourage consumers to spend more on the platform”, explains Monique Goyens, director general of the European Consumers’ Unions Bureau (BEUC), quoted in a press release.

The 17 complaints were filed simultaneously with the European Commission and the competent national authorities.

Misleading interface, difficult account closure, vague information

On Temu, “consumers are offered different, more expensive versions when they have clicked on a particular product and they face an obstacle course when they want to close their account,” laments Ms. Goyens.

Since February, the DSA has imposed, under penalty of fines, new obligations on all online platforms to better protect users against illegal content

The Temu e-shopping application, Chinese version of Pinoduoduo, is launching in France. – Temu

The regulation prohibits, for example, misleading interfaces and imposes increased transparency on the algorithms used to target Internet users. It requires controlling the identity of sellers on the platforms and blocking repeat fraudsters.

Temu “often fails to provide consumers with crucial information about the sellers of the products and is therefore unable to indicate whether the product meets EU product safety requirements”, denounces BEUC.

Apply the measures across Europe

The Chinese platform, which has experienced meteoric growth in Europe over the past two years thanks to a strategy of low prices, “also does not provide sufficient information on its recommendation systems and on how the different criteria it uses lead to offering certain products”, deplores this organization.

“Temu infringes the EU Digital Services Regulation and must now be investigated by the authorities,” says BEUC.

The Italian consumer association Altroconsumo tested 13 cosmetic products sold on the platform in October and found that nine of them did not specify, or only partially, the list of ingredients.

Earlier this year, the German Federation of Consumer Organizations (VZBV) accused Temu of displaying misleading reviews on products sold and misleading consumers about displaying price reductions. It has obtained modifications from Temu which, however, currently only apply to the German market.

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