Disneyland Paris has been accused of unfair pricing and payment terms as people in the UK pay 15% more for one day tickets.
The European Commission (EC) has received a number of complaints from customers who said that they have to pay more than their European counterparts. There were also complaints that special offers and deals were only available in certain countries.
The EC is investigating as, under European laws, firms cannot stop customers from shopping around to get the best deals. One of the big issues is that debit and credit cards are often blocked if they do not come from the country where the purchase is taking place. For example, if you wanted to take advantage of a deal on a French website but only had a UK credit card, the transaction wouldn’t go through.
This case highlights the need for fair payment terms and procedures when setting up shop online. Some may say that the geo-blocking of cards is an anti-fraud measure, but when one company has numerous websites to cater for an international clientele they should have the same deals open to everyone.
We live in a global village that is supposed to resemble a level playing field to boost growth in the global economy and empower business. By restricting access to websites or payments for services, by location (known as geo-blocking), you prevent customers shopping around and spreading their purchasing power across the world.
When looking at your business’ payment terms you may wish to consider options that are open to all. By including PayPal for example, which is a world-wide payment portal, you allow your products and services to be bought by anyone.
If you have different websites to cater for different languages, or different services provided in different countries, you must make sure that what you are offering is fair and, within reason, open to anyone that wants to purchase it. There may be legitimate reasons for not offering certain services or products in particular countries - but this must be clearly explained.
In the case of Disneyland Paris freezing out UK customers from certain price promotions, the European Commission is now investigating the fairness of their pricing and promotion strategy. A spokesman for Disneyland Paris said that the standard price of a ticket is the same across the European Union market but that firms run different promotions in different countries based on seasonal events and school holidays.
If your business is looking at venturing into an international market, or you already are but need legal advice, contact the expert team of Business Lawyers at Slater and Gordon UK. You can call us on freephone 0800 916 9052 or contact us online and we will call you.