Monitoring the display of pricing information
- Permit or other obligation
- Nationwide except the Åland Islands
- Public service
The Regional State Administrative Agency monitors that businesses display the prices of products and services they provide to consumers in accordance with regulations. The key provision is the Price Labelling Regulation. It states that retail and unit prices must be shown with products when they are displayed in the business premises, in the business’s window display or on its website. Unit price refers to the price per kilo, per litre, per meter, per square meter or per cubic meter.
Prices must be displayed clearly and individually. In marketing, such as advertisements, the price of an individual product must be displayed in this way whenever the marketing contains price information. There is no general obligation to advertise prices in newspaper advertisements. Prices for services must be displayed at the business premises and on the website.
Do the following
Consumers who identify deficiencies in pricing information should first contact the business directly.
Insufficient pricing information can also be reported to the Regional State Administrative Agency. The report must include the following information:
- The name and contact details of the business
- Whether the report is about point of sale pricing or marketing
- Which product, product group, or service the report applies to.
If necessary, the Regional State Administrative Agency will contact the business in question and/or will make an inspection visit to the business premises.
The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority and the Consumer Ombudsman deal with pricing matters that require interpretation of the regulations. Policy issues are ultimately settled by the Market Court. The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority is responsible for monitoring misleading marketing and contract terms.
To whom and on what terms
All businesses supplying consumer products and services may be subject to monitoring. The Regional State Administrative Agency may set deadlines for businesses to rectify any deficiencies in their display of prices.
Where there is no indication of any deficiency in the display of prices, the monitoring measures for an individual business may vary from a single visit to the business premises to a check on the business’s advertisements or website. Where incomplete pricing is discovered, the monitoring measures can last from few weeks to several months, depending on when the business rectifies the deficiencies.
As a final measure, the Regional State Administrative Agency may ban the business from using methods that do not meet the regulations, and to re-enforce the ban by imposing a penalty on the business. Prior to these measures, the Regional State Administrative Agency will use less serious means, such as reminder letters. Generally, when monitoring activities start, the goal is that as many businesses as possible seek to rectify any deficiencies based on the reminder letters.
The monitoring activities are governed by the Consumer Protection Act, the Price Labelling Regulation and other pricing regulations, which cover a wide range of sectors. The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority has issued guidance for pricing information for various areas, such as driving schools.
The service is free of charge.