The Commissioners for Consumer Protection imposed fines of 7.3 million lei on some Lidl stores throughout the country and decided to temporarily stop the provision of services, until the deficiencies are remedied, in the case of 38 units, for irregularities found during the controls carried out this year.
According to a press release from the National Authority for Consumer Protection (ANPC), delivered to Agerpres on Friday, from the beginning of this year until now, 307 actions have been carried out to check Lidl supermarkets, at the national level, within a control theme that provides for the supervision the way in which the large retail chains, which operate in Romania, comply with the legislation in force.
Following the detected irregularities, ANPC commissioners imposed 481 contravention fines, in the amount of approximately 7.3 million lei, 133 warnings and definitively stopped the sale of non-compliant products worth over 125,000 lei.
Also, the commissioners decided to temporarily stop the provision of services, until the deficiencies are remedied, in the case of 38 units located in the counties: Arad, Prahova, Caraş Severin, Hunedoara, Neamţ, Iaşi, Constanta, Olt, Dolj, Braşov, Alba , Mureş, Bihor, Satu Mare, Sălaj, Bistriţa-Năsăud, Ilfov and the municipality of Bucharest and proposing the cessation of unfair commercial practices, in the case of 66 units.
For a store in the municipality of Bacău, the commissioners decided to temporarily close it for a period of up to 6 months.
“I don’t know how this network works in other countries. I was hoping that at least in Romania it would be an example for everyone else, but especially for us. I also don’t know if, in the country of origin of this economic operator, vegetables and fruits are eaten moldy or the prices on the shelf do not match those at the house. I also wonder if, after the arrival of an authority in control and the application of sanctions, things are treated with the same superficiality and disinterest. We had taken pens to learn what to do , but we had to write with them in penalty minutes”, said Horia Constantinescu, ANPC president.
Among the most important irregularities found by the representatives of the Consumer Protection were: the sale of food products with the minimum durability date exceeded, the storage of unpackaged bakery products in boxes with dust and impurities, the use of showcases or refrigerated boxes without monitoring graphics temperature, damaged or unsanitized, with excess ice, deposits of dust, slime, food and packaging debris, bumped, with rust, broken boards, the use of damaged or unsanitized display shelves and trays and the use of unsanitized ovens.
Other irregularities concerned the marketing of some products without having the label with identification elements regarding the batch and the expiry date, the marketing of some food products with depreciated, deviated packaging, with mechanical impacts, the marketing of some fruits/vegetables as being quality I when, in reality, had mechanical shocks, mold and cornered areas, the lack of product prices on the shelf, non-compliance with the promotions regime (the lack of the reference product on the shelf, in the case of products being sold in a multipack system, not specifying the period in which the promotion took place, etc.) .
During the controls, the commissioners also found inconsistencies between the price of the products on the shelf and the one at the cash register, the existence of improper storage conditions, with poor cleanliness, the lack of mention of allergenic factors on the labels produced in stores, the lack of mention of the country of origin of of some of the products, the lack of declarations of conformity in the case of some electrical household products sold or their non-translation into Romanian, the lack of translation into Romanian on the labels of some of the products, the lack of mention on the label of the product’s validity period, etc.
In August of last year, several stores in the Lidl network were fined 3.5 million lei, also due to irregularities found during the checks carried out in the units, which took place in August.