Several European consumer associations have lodged a complaint against the Chinese online shopping platform Temu. Accused of manipulating internet users and violating European regulations, Temu is facing severe criticism for its misleading interface and questionable pricing practices.

Caught Out by Temu: European Complaint Against the Platform

Deceptive Practices Denounced by the Associations

Since its arrival in Europe, Temu has rapidly gained popularity, attracting over 75 million monthly users thanks to its attractive prices. However, this meteoric rise has been accompanied by numerous complaints from consumers and associations. In France, UFC-Que Choisir, a member of the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), has highlighted the platform's multiple violations. Monique Goyens, Director General of BEUC, stated that Temu is "riddled with misleading interfaces – dark patterns – to push consumers to spend more on the platform."

Consumer associations have identified several problematic practices on Temu. Among these, users are offered more expensive versions of the same product after clicking on it and face significant difficulties when attempting to close their accounts. These practices are contrary to the EU's Digital Services Act (DSA), which imposes strict obligations on online platforms to protect users from illegal content and ensure increased transparency.

In France, consumers are particularly vulnerable to these deceptive practices. UFC-Que Choisir has noted that Temu often fails to provide crucial information about sellers and products, preventing consumers from verifying the products' compliance with European safety standards. This lack of transparency poses a significant risk to the safety of products sold on the platform.

Temu's Business Model Under Scrutiny

The BEUC has also denounced the lack of information on Temu's recommendation systems, which use opaque algorithms to suggest certain products. These practices raise questions about the protection of user data and the manipulation of purchasing preferences.

Tests conducted by the Italian consumer association Altroconsumo in October revealed that nine out of thirteen cosmetic products purchased on Temu did not specify, or only partially specified, the list of ingredients. At the beginning of the year, the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (VZBV) accused Temu of displaying misleading reviews and false price reductions. Although some changes have been made by Temu in response to these accusations, they only apply to the German market for now.

Faced with these multiple violations, the BEUC has called for a thorough investigation by European authorities into Temu's practices. "Temu is in breach of the EU's Digital Services Act and must now be investigated by the authorities," said Monique Goyens. This collective complaint aims to strengthen the protection of European consumers and ensure that online shopping platforms comply with established standards.

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