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Directive on misleading/aggressive sales technique

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All of us have sometime in our lives been the victim of a supersmart sales person, who was so convincing that we simply had to buy the product although we actually didn't need it. Arguments we fall for are: "we are a respectable and well-reputed company", "even the King/Jame Bond/Jamie Oliver wears  these socs", this offer is only valid for 2 minutes", "this demonstration model unfortunately doesn't work but the one I will send you is in tip top order", "my grandmother wears one of these", etc. etc. The list is endless, and the aim is often to lure the customer into a deal that will favour only the seller, and often leave us with dissappointed faces and in some cases even with nothing but an empty wallet.

Typical situations are with the telephone sales, street vendors and often door-to-door sales. Typically, the buyer isn't allowed much time to think and is pressed into giving a quick response.

But what does the law say about these inventive sales techniques? When can we say no to an agressive sales attack?

The tool is the so-called Black Lis t, also known as EC Directive 2005/29/EG . The Directive directly protects consumer economic interests from unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices. Thereby, it also indirecty protects legitimate businesses from their competitors who do not play by the rules in this Directive and thus guarantees fair competition in fields coordinated by it.

The Black List can be downloaded in all EU languages from:


or by search for: 2005/29/EG

Please share your experience with misleading or aggressive sales techniques by submitting a comment.




Niels Haderup 0
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