Here’s what you need to know, always keeping in mind that miracle products don’t exist.
Be it meal replacements, creams, pills or capsules for rejuvenation or weight loss, or other solutions that promise miracles for your health, beware of “too good to be true” offers, for example on the Web or in brochures, because that’s what they (almost) always are! And keep in mind that manufacturers cannot promise anything to sell their products.
Do you think you are dealing with misleading information? In general, the merchant has an obligation of result with respect to the representations or promises that he makes in relation to his products. So if he announces that he will definitely lose 10 pounds in a month, that promise must be achievable. You also need to be able to justify the information you present to attract your customers. For example, if you claim that your weight loss powder has been “scientifically proven” or is “medically approved” to be effective, it must be true. Otherwise, it is misleading advertising (“false or misleading representation”), which is prohibited by law.
Furthermore, the merchant cannot omit an important fact or essential information about his product. If you claim that you will lose 10 kilos in a month, but you “forget” to indicate that to achieve this result you will have to exercise one hour a day, you are ignoring an important fact that you have had to mention.
Finally, the product must comply with:
• your description in your contract (invoice or purchase confirmation);
• the information that appears on your packaging;
• advertisements (posters, website, television commercials, seller’s statements, etc.).
To “hook you”, the merchant offered you a product at a reduced price, or even free, but you did not commit to the rest. In this case, once the promotion is over, you will not be able to require a notice from you informing you that you want to stop there. You also do not have the right to ask you to pay for any products that you have sent to you without your consent. In general, beware of sample offers that are “free” but for which you must pay shipping costs, for example (unless you read everything in the small print in the offer). Often, in fact, this type of approach involves the risk that you will enter into a business relationship with the merchant without their knowledge.
In the event of unauthorized billing, you have recourse. You can cancel your purchase if the merchant doesn’t honor the agreement they made with you. If the purchase was made via the Internet or by mail, there are also other cancellation possibilities. Do not hesitate to contact the Office de la protection du consommateur to find out your remedies and the procedure to follow depending on your situation.
This advice is taken from the guide 100 TRUCS Consommateurs, your daily rights, prepared in collaboration with the Office de la protection du consommateur. On the occasion of its 50th anniversary, the Office is offering this guide free of charge to all consumers.
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