How customers screwed Girada (and why it was sanctioned by Antitrust)



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The AGCM sanctioned the site of Girada for not having fulfilled the right of withdrawal, but also was discovered how some took advantage of that.

Rotated was sanctioned by Antitrust for 250 thousand euros, but the most curious aspect of this e-commerce platform is that, at the time of the process, it revealed how its ingenious mechanism of purchase (partially) turned against her.

Girada was born in early 2017 and the tsunami invests in the online shopping market with an innovative business model that, thanks to word of mouth, becomes an example for many other realities – closed over time because it is less careful with respect to the boundaries between legality and pyramid. The site offers the possibility to buy a product directly at the list price or book and enjoy a discount of up to 80% if 3 new buyers are presented. The discount is reduced if the "friends" are two or one.

In short, Turned awards the groups of purchases but the novelty is that it is not characteristic that all books have the same product – as long as they are of equal value or superior to the primary. The model over time seems to work, with social media filled with posts of satisfied consumers. Then the engine gets stuck and the waiting lists get longer. And therefore, there are a multitude of consumers who have already paid a down payment waiting to find new "friends" involved. At that point, in 2018, the antitrust lighthouse settles in Girada and, in fact, some critical issues arise, which are partially treated with a correction of regulation and communication. "Partly." Nowadays, AGCM, which acknowledged on the site the respect of the right of withdrawal – both 14 days of the reservation and 14 days of purchase, and the possibility of buying at full price at any time, changed its mind.

In Turned practice, as the AGCM stresses,only formally changed the rules of withdrawal in the general conditions of sale while in fact it continued to oppose unjustified obstacles to the exercise of that right, for example, bankruptcy or only partial reimbursement made at the end of the procedures correctly carried out by consumers, delays in reimbursement due to the need to verify repeated refusal to accept the packaging containing the returned product as well as the introduction of costly procedural requirements, such as the indication of certified electronic mail as the only means of initiating the withdrawal procedure. "

At the same time, customers would have the opportunity to buy the chosen product at the market price charged at the time of the request after nine months of it. But this option was suspended and reactivated only since February 2019 – Spin – due to the abnormal behavior of the client. The result, according to the Guarantor, is that some were forced to pay higher market prices to exit the system after accumulating 500 days of waiting lists.

And so it came to a penalty of EUR 250 thousand calculated on the basis of a turnover of 2018 – without support by a vision camera – between 2 and 6 million euros.

How Girada customers scratched the platform

Net case against the platform and its defense, the mechanism that is undoubtedly worthy of interest some users have orchestrated to circumvent regulations and enjoy it. Giarada explains that two or more customers used each other's "reference codes" by joining their respective buying groups. And so far nothing's wrong, but then …

"When the person being helped manages to complete the buying group with the 3 friends and receives the asset physically, the others first buy the product previously reserved at the market price and then systematically make use of the right of withdrawal requesting the refund of the amount paid", Explains the website in the AGCM document.

In practice, the three friends of the group formally bought the products, triggering the bonus of the hyper-discounted, and then began to return them. And so at least one good was always insured at bargain prices. By replicating the mechanism, many of them took an undeniable advantage, then saturated the social groups – and I say this from direct experience – of sales announcements.

"Others, then, to implement the scheme above, rather than associate with others, prefer create multiple fake accounts related to you and in this way uses the revolving accounts to get the discounted product with one and the other pretend to buy at market prices and then return them as a result of the right of withdrawal, "continues Giarda.

Not only that, some users would be candidates online to help others who do not complete the purchasing groups for a fee of 35/40 euros. With a well organized method that provides for the reserve of the asset, membership of a group (in payment), waiting for the product to receive the discounted price of the leader, payment of the difference for the purchase at market price, recession of the purchase on the day of purchase market price and prior to shipment of the product, so that there are no shipping costs for returning the goods) and request the return of the amount paid for the reservation and the balance.

In some cases, Girada filed a criminal complaint, but the fact is that the criticizing behavior of some consumers was not enough for the recognition by the AGCM of all extenuating circumstances. Yes, some took advantage of the retreat, but others who had a legitimate right saw "deny".

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