Vinted fined $1.2 million in Poland for a lack of transparency on its platform

Vinted was fined 1.2 million dollars in Poland for a lack of information on their website for the users. Vinted plans to appeal the decision.

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Vinted has been fined PLN 5.36 million (US$ 1.2 million) on May 11 by the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) in Poland for a lack of transparency and information on the platform.

Founded in 2008 in Lithuania, Vinted operates in 15 markets and allows to buy and sell second-hand clothes and accessories.

The UOKiK and the European Consumer Center received complaints from customers that Vinted did not properly inform sellers that collecting their money was subject to proof of identity. Information about the need to prove one’s identity only came after the transaction was done and didn’t detail which documents were needed. Moreover, the website’s terms and conditions only mentioned money from the e-wallet could be transferred to a bank account at any time.

The UOKiK found it unacceptable. Vinted changed the practice in April 2022, which was “key in reducing the fine”.

The other issue related to Vinted that was reported was the lack of information for buyers about how to avoid paying the Buyer Protection fee.

The fee guarantees that the buyer will get a refund if the item purchased is not shipped or is defective. It also guarantees secure payment. But the website didn’t describe how to buy an item without the protection fee. The Buyer Protection fee, PLN 2.9 ($0.7) plus 5% of the price, was added automatically to the transaction.

For Tomasz Chróstny, president of the UOKiK, “it is very important that such websites respect consumer rights and ensure the transparency and security of transactions” because “they fit in with the idea of sustainable development and care for the environment“.

Vinted has therefore received financial penalties for both practices amounting to PLN 5.36 million.

In a statement shared by Business Insider Poland, Vinted, “whose goal is to provide an easy-to-use, safe and transparent platform,” communicated its disappointment and plans to appeal the decision.

It also wanted to “emphasize that buying and selling on Vinted is not conditioned to identity verification,” but that the verification procedure was carried out by its payment service provider as “imposed by legal regulations, to be able to ensure the security of commercial transactions on digital platforms such as ours, for example by reducing the risk of fraudulent activities”. It also disagreed with the UOKiK on the Buyer Protection fee arguing it didn’t recommend it because it could require sharing payment details with other users.

On top of the fine, Vinted Poland needs to inform customers about the decision on its website and on Facebook.

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