When we began researching more into Swoopo following our initial post on the unusual auction site, we also looked into whether the business model could possibly be challenged under EU laws, where the company has its primary base of operations.
Technologizer got in contact with the European Commission, the regulatory body of the EU. The EC then took a closer look at Swoopo apparently, and has gotten back to us saying the site appears to be following all laws.
Even though complains in Europe have already appeared online, the EC itself has as of yet not received any complaints from residents. Moreover, the site appears to be following the rules governing online auctions. Spokesperson Carol Franklin had this to say:
“The Unfair Commercial Practices Directive (2005/29/EC) applies to commercial practices of this kind. Under this Directive, the consumer must receive the material information he needs in order to decide whether to purchase an item or place a bid on an auction site. Complete information about the price and the costs involved must be provided. In the case of auction sites, consumers must therefore be clearly informed whether they will be charged for bids that will not lead to an eventual purchase. Omitting to provide such information would constitute a misleading practice which is banned under the Directive.”
Franklin added that if users did indeed have a problem with Swoopo, they would need to contact their local consumer authority who would then decide if the site is acting against the directive, which is incorporated into local law.
So all that grumbling out there seems to be a whole lotta nothing, or at least nobody’s gotten upset enough over losing an auction to get the authorities involved just yet.