A used MacBook Air computer at 401 euros, against 1,099 euros new. A Samsung Galaxy S10 smartphone at 280 euros against 689 euros… For the consumer who strolls on Back Market, the first French site for the sale of refurbished electronic products, it’s tempting. But for the UFC-What to choose, it’s annoying and above all disloyal. “When you buy a used car, does the seller remind you of its new price? No, because the two products are not comparable. However, this is what Back Market does”explains Raphaël Bartlomé, head of the legal department of UFC-Que Choisir, for whom “ it’s time to say stop “.
After several months of dialogue and despite some improvements, the consumer association has decided to take legal action to put an end to these promotions, which are not promotions. A complaint was to be filed Wednesday, June 15 against the site, before the Paris court, for misleading commercial practices.
Back Market’s price comparisons are not the only ones in the association’s sights. UFC-Que Choisir also criticizes the market place for its service costs of 4.99 euros per purchase, which do not appear in the sale price initially displayed, but only when the consumer validates his basket.
Back Market, which had not reacted on Wednesday morning to the announcement of the filing of a complaint, explains on its site that “these service charges [lui] make it possible to invest in many quality procedures »as “strict quality control of vendors” present in its marketplace. But, for Mr. Bartlomé, these service fees are “a kind of additional margin”Back Market already charges a 10% commission on sales made by sellers who use its marketplace.
“It feels like stepping back in time”
“In 2022, for a company the size and value of Back Market, it should be easy to display, from the outset, the final price of the product. It feels like we’ve gone back years, when we condemned the hidden costs of air tickets or tour operators”, regrets the head of the legal department of the UFC-Que Choisir. VZBV, a German consumer association, is taking the same action across the Rhine against the practices of the German Back Market site, without however having crossed the legal barrier.
This is the first time that UFC-Que Choisir has targeted a site selling so-called “reconditioned” electronic products. But the sector has already suffered, in March, the reprimands of the general direction of competition, consumption and the repression of fraud (DGCCRF).
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