Green MEP for London, Jean Lambert has today welcomed European Parliament support for a new resolution calling for an end to fraudulent business directory scams.
Across Europe, thousands of mainly small businesses, NGOs, libraries and even schools have fallen victim to the widespread misleading practices of ‘business directory companies’. After being lured in by a ‘free’ offer and unintentionally signing up to a binding multi-annual contract for a listing in a business directory, they can be charged as much as €1000.
Today’s resolution calls upon the Commission to ensure that Member States are enforcing the 2006 Directive on misleading and comparative advertising and to take action against those that aren’t . MEPs also urged the Commission to speed up rules blacklisting misleading practices by business directories.
Speaking after the vote, Jean said: “Small businesses are essential to a self-sufficient economy, yet organisations that fall victim to these fraudulent scams are often too small to be able to afford the fees to take legal action against the companies. On the other hand, paying the fees which they were tricked into signing for has put numerous companies in severe hardship.
“The EU must do all it can to protect citizens and small businesses from the deceptive claims of these so called ‘companies’ and I urge the Commission to take a tough stance on those who are found to be in breach of the law.”
Notes to Editors
1. The full text of the resolution can be viewed at: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=MOTION&reference=B7-2011-0342&language=EN