Jeronimo Martins’ Polish unit tricks consumers with promotion, watchdog says

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WARSAW, Aug 16 (Reuters) – Polish supermarket chain Biedronka, a subsidiary of Portugal’s Jeronimo Martins (JMT.LS), could be fined up to 10% of its annual turnover, it said on Tuesday. consumer watchdog UOKiK, as part of an advertising campaign announced by the regulator. was potentially misleading.

Poland’s biggest discount chain has offered to refund customers the difference if they find one of 150 products cheaper elsewhere as part of a promotion that ran from April to June.

However, UOKiK said the promotion’s regulations made reimbursement much more difficult than the advertisement might have led consumers to believe.

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“The rules seemed simple, the promise enticing, but the reality turned out to be different,” UOKiK official Tomasz Chrostny said in a statement.

People wishing to take advantage of the promotion had to buy the product at both stores, take photos, submit an online request before receiving a code which they had to send by traditional mail, UOKiK said.

UOKiK also said that, in accordance with the regulations, consumers would not receive a refund of any price difference in cash, but instead would receive a code that can be used in Biedronka stores.

He also criticized that the regulations were not readily available in stores.

“We checked how the benefits resulting from the promotion were presented to customers and the rules for participation, and came to the conclusion that the advertising messages could mislead consumers,” Chrostny said.

In an emailed statement, Biedronka said it was “committed to having the lowest prices on the market” and that its promotions were “designed to create savings opportunities for Polish customers.”

“We are surprised by the information circulating in the media because so far we have not received any official correspondence from the UOKiK,” the supermarket added.

No one at UOKiK was immediately available to comment on the supermarket’s statement.

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Reporting by Alan Charlish in Warsaw, additional reporting by Patricia Rua in Lisbon; edited by David Evans

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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