Protecting consumers is all good and well, but let us not presume in advance that only business enterprises are bound by established custom and marketplace norms.

Consumers ought to benefit from legal protection – as much is common ground. It is the consumers who are the weaker side in commercial relationships, and they generally can’t fall back on a dedicated organisational structure, professional experience in the given field, or on cohorts of experienced advisors and lawyers. Many of the products and services on offer, meanwhile, call for significant prior knowledge and preparation if one is to navigate the selection and purchase process with any degree of awareness. The average consumer who once had no problem dealing with purchases of, say, appliances or services now, all too often, feels lost or, worse yet, simply cheated by enterprises which gleefully sell him something which he simply does not understand. Sadly, it is far from uncommon for a consumer, yielding to commercial chicanery, to buy something which he does not need. Such considerations have been fuelling the dynamic development of consumer protection laws observed in recent years. The prevailing deficit of plain old honesty, also referred to by the quaint term of mercantile integrity, necessitates increased assertiveness by the public authorities in protecting those who are unable to protect themselves …

The full text of this article is available for download in Polish. If you are interested in an English-language version or in discussing the issues raised herein with one of our lawyers, please contact: kontakt@gessel.pl