Poland’s Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) has undertaken four actions against media service irregularities, two of which were committed by TVN and UPC Polska.
In the former case, it says that consumers who bought a package providing pre-premiere access to selected programmes, series or entertainment on Player.pl were left disappointed. In one instance, the fifth episode of a programme appeared only four days later. The company considered the complaints positively, but not always to the extent adequate to the damage suffered. After the intervention of the UOKiK, all consumers who filed a complaint received a refund (partial – if the package was paid for more than a month).
In addition, following the comments of the UOKiK, TVN will include a description of the package ordered in the contract confirmation (so far it was only available on the website). It will also introduce some changes in the way the offer is presented – so that it is more transparent for consumers.
Meanwhile, UPC Polska was found to be providing confusing messages about access to movies. At the beginning of the pandemic – March 20, 2020 – consumers received an email from the president of UPC Polska assuring them that “in this difficult time, we want to support you more than ever” and informing about the decoding of 13 TV channels and the preparation of a special collection of films in the UPC On Demand service.
On the same day, consumers also received an SMS which read: “Turn your living room into a cinema. Press VOD on the remote control. Consumers understood that there was no cost to use these videos. They found out otherwise.
As soon as the company realised that the e-mail and SMS from March 20 could mislead consumers, it took steps to remove the irregularities and their consequences.
The company also awarded various types of compensation to those who submitted complaints. After the intervention of the UOKiK, their value was standardised depending on the experience in using the UPC On Demand.
As a result, the vast majority of consumers obtained compensation corresponding at least to the amount of fees charged for the films they rented.