New law allows misled consumers to sue retailers

The legislation, while largely applauded by industry leaders, left some uncertain about potentially far-reaching implications.

By MATTHEW KRIEGER
October 30, 2007 08:00
1 minute read.
consumer rights 88 224

consumer rights 88 224. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Consumers who have been damaged by retailers due to dishonest advertising will be allowed to sue those store owners for up to NIS 10,000 in small-claims court as part of new legislation introduced to curtail dishonesty in the marketplace. The legislation, announced Monday by Yitzhak Kimche, the overseer of Consumer Protection in the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry also includes clauses that extend to return policies and warrantees. Included among retailers who are subject to lawsuits under the new legislation are those who do not clearly advertise their return policies and then refuse to refund customers and also those who advertise items at one price while charging a higher sum. The legislation, while largely applauded by industry leaders, left some uncertain about potentially far-reaching implications. "Those who sell things will now be forced to act honestly and ethically, which is a very good thing, but we need to think about the results of this decision," said Uriel Lynn, president of the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce. "I think that it may encourage too many lawsuits, leaving the country's small-claims courts swarmed," he said, adding that he was "surprised" that the Justice Ministry didn't first test this out in a trial run. Separately, on Monday, the Knesset Economics Committee approved Kimche's request to introduce the European video game content rating system, Pan European Game Information (PEGI), in Israel. PEGI was developed by the Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE) and came into use in April 2003. The PEGI system, currently used by 29 countries, consists of two different classification components - a suggested minimum age and up to seven descriptions of content, such as the use of strong language, violence, drugs and nudity.


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