Find out what are tied sales and 8 types that can be reported – WAU
Tying is a commercial practice prohibited by law (Article 39 of the Consumer Protection Code) which consists of selling products or services under the obligation to purchase others. It is one of the most frequent illegalities in commercial establishments and financial institutions, subject to denunciation and legal punishment.
Minimum consumption in bars and nightclubs, purchase of products under mandatory insurance and prohibition from entering cinemas with food purchased from other establishments: all these practices are common examples of married sales.
The neglect of this and several other laws related to the marketing and promotion of products and services does not happen simply by bad faith. There is a real misinformation on the subject, including among Marketing and Communication professionals.
In this article, we analyze the law that prohibits this practice in London and list the main examples of cased sales practiced by the most varied types of company. Continue reading and find out about it!
What is cashing?
Tied sale is characterized when the sale of a good or service is conditioned to the purchase of other products or when a minimum amount of consumption is imposed in an establishment.
The law that defines this practice as an infraction of the economic order was passed in 1990 and aims to guarantee the consumer’s freedom of choice.
CDC – Law No. 8,078 of September 11, 1990.
Art. 39. The supplier of products or services is prohibited, among other abusive practices: (Wording given by Law nº 8.884, of 11.6.1994)
I – condition the supply of a product or service to the supply of another product or service, as well as, without cause, quantitative limits;
Tied sales can also happen hidden way, that is, when a person purchases an uninformed product and additional service that is embedded in the amount paid. This practice is very common when buying tickets and obtaining credit from banks, for example.
What are the main types of tied sales?
Although this activity has been banned in the country for almost 30 years, tied sales are still a reality in several establishments. This is seen as “natural” by many service providers. Check out the most frequent examples!
1. Minimum consumption in bars, restaurants and night clubs
Probably one of the most famous examples of married selling. No consumer should be obliged to consume what he does not want within an establishment. Therefore, minimal consummation under any circumstances is an illegal practice.
2. Food consumption in the cinema
The Superior Court of Justice establishes that no film company is allowed to prevent customers from entering with food purchased from other establishments. A very common married selling practice, people were commonly forced to buy popcorn packages at high prices inside theaters.
3. Purchase of tickets with accommodation and tours
STJ also understands the sale of tickets and accommodation, tour and insurance services jointly and by a single tour operator as poor service delivery and conduct liable to prosecution for abusive practice.
4. Insurance contracting at concessionaires
The sale or financing of vehicles conditioned to the hiring of insurance is also a crime! Additional service is optional and, even if the consumer chooses to hire him, he must enjoy the freedom of choice to close deals with the company he wishes.
5. Internet services with TV and telephone
The collection of minimum fees that are independent of the customer’s consumption cannot necessarily be considered illegal conduct, as there is a cost to guarantee the availability of the service. However, conditioning the customer to hire additional services to make the installation of a product feasible, it is a kind of tying sale.
6. Credit card with capitalization bonds
The mandatory contracting of insurance and capitalization bonds for the granting of credit cards is considered a practice of tying sales. Are different services and therefore, the consumer must choose to hire both or not.
7. Space rental with buffet
Renting a space and catering are two different services. Therefore, the consumer cannot be imposed to hire one of them under obligation to hire the other. This is a clear practice of tying.
8. Property financing with specific home insurance
Insurance in the housing contract is mandatory by law. However, the consumer is not required to be a customer of the insurance offered by the company responsible for financing the property. If the customer decides to migrate his contract insurance to another company’s service, he cannot be prevented from doing so.
How should the consumer proceed in cases like these?
Once the illegal practice is verified, the consumer must report it to the organs and institutions responsible for the inspection and defense of the consumer.. They are the Procon (Consumer Protection and Guidance Program), the Public Ministry and the Consumer Police Station that is available in some cities.
A consumer who has already purchased a good or service through a bundled sale can request the return or cancellation of the additional item later. The simplest, and also the friendliest, way to resolve the situation is to contact the company or send a notification letter clarifying your claim.
If the company refuses reimbursement and insists on a cash sale, it is essential to make a complaint to the consumer protection agencies so that appropriate legal measures are taken. To expedite the process, a lawyer can be hired to request cancellation of the additional transaction in court.
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When is not selling a crime a crime?
Tying is prohibited, but there are times when law enforcement does not do it justice. These are not “exceptions to the rule”, but situations where there is no way to practice selling in any other way.
An ice cream shop that sells only closed jars with standardized quantities is not required to offer smaller portions to its customers. A steakhouse that sets a minimum weight for the preparation of a portion cannot be condemned either, since the preparation of very small portions may not be feasible for the establishment.
The famous “take 2, pay 1” and similar promotions are also not illegal. There is no way to calculate a price proportional to a specific quantity defined by a consumer, as there are several variables included such as packaging, distribution, advertising and others. Furthermore, in this case, the customer remains free to accept or reject the promotion.
There has already been a discussion whether selling computers with previously installed operating systems and software could set up a tying sale. Considering that the consumer has the right to choose and purchase other solutions, many of them free, including the previous installation of paid products could be considered an abusive practice.
Meantime, there was never a formal clarification on this specific case and the sale of desktops and laptops with pre-installed systems remains. The consumer, however, has the right to question the establishment if he does not give the option to purchase the computer without the additional software.
What are other prohibitions I need to worry about?
According to the guidelines of Conar (Advertising Self-Regulation Council) and Procon, the actions of publicity and sales must be truthful and respect the law, the consumer and the principles of fair competition.
In addition to tying, there are other very common illegal practices that deserve the attention of every entrepreneur or marketer. Look at that!
According to Article 37 of the Consumer Protection Code, the disclosure of any type of concept or false information that is capable of creating a different image from the reality of a product or service is considered misleading advertising, as well as the omission of essential data about the company, contracts and goods.
Also according to Article 37 of the CDC, abusive advertising is characterized by the transmission of inappropriate messages capable of promoting aggression to the environment, violence, discriminatory discourses, immoral practices or, even, disrespecting moral values, cultures and human rights.
Abusive advertising aimed at children
Although the details regarding child advertising legislation in London are still not very clear, the Consumer Protection Code states that any type of communication that exploits a child’s deficiency of judgment and experience is considered abusive.
How do you see, tied sales are just a type of illegal practice that sometimes goes unnoticed by entrepreneurs, communicators and consumers.
Paying attention to legislation and good market practices is essential, not only to avoid sanctions, fines and criticisms, but for the sake of professional ethics and respect for consumer rights.
How about we talk now about a type of sale that is really able to benefit your company and your customers? Continue with us and learn all about cross-selling and how this strategy can increase the average ticket of your business!