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Firm fined for giving dubious ‘Consumer Opinion’ certificates

Hungaryʼs Competition Authority (GVH) on Monday said it had imposed a fine of HUF 11 million on Ügyfél Vélemeny Vizsgálati Központ Kft. for unfair commercial and business practices, Hungarian news agency MTI reported.

The Center relied solely on internet keyword searches to determine whether a company was trustworthy (photo by StockLite/Shutterstock.com)

Ügyfél Vélemény Vizsgálati Központ (Client Opinion Investigation Center) awarded businesses "Consumer Opinion" certificates, for a charge, based on internet searches it made using company names and words suggesting distrust, such as "dishonest," "deceptive" and "cheat." If the search produced no hits, the firm awarded a certificate.

GVH said the test was insufficient to determine a companyʼs trustworthiness and ordered it to discontinue the practice.

In 2016, GVH already fined the company for a similar scheme, where it had offered "Trusted Company" certificates.