Many people today decide which hotels to stay at or restaurants to eat at based on reviews they read online. But those reviews are often uploaded by the entrepreneurs themselves, and bear little resemblance to actual customer experiences.
Such practices, and others like them seen online, are the target of a new European Union directive that started applying on Wednesday, though it remains to be seen when Greece and the other EU member-states will implement it, given that they have until a May 28, 2022 deadline to do so.
The directive dictates that when enterprises offer access to consumer reviews of products or services, they should say whether their websites have procedures or protocols ensuring that the published reviews are indeed written by previous customers.
Other new regulations include a minimum fine for enterprises equal to 4 percent of annual turnover for any legal violations, the obligation to tell consumers whether a company appears high on search engine results because it has paid for such a service, and the necessary citing of the previous price in case of discounts or offers in online commerce.