Since the start of 2018, the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) has been contacted by consumers over 600 times regarding the actions of KT Kustannus, which carries out telemarketing of the Kouluturvaa magazine. The business has marketed the magazine in a misleading fashion and has sent it to consumers who have not ordered it. The Consumer Ombudsman has requested that the police investigate the company and urges the public to avoid dealing with them.
KT Kustannus has carried out aggressive telemarketing and persuaded consumers to make orders through erroneous or misleading statements. Based on the information received, many consumers have assumed they are ordering only a sample copy, but the order has in fact been a standing order. In addition, KT Kustannus has invoiced consumers for magazine orders which the consumers claim not to have made. In many cases, the targets of this abuse have been elderly consumers.
The large number of reports from consumers indicates that the misleading behaviour is systematic. The Consumer Ombudsman considers that the actions of KT Kustannus meet the criteria for both attempted fraud and a marketing offence. The Consumer Ombudsman submitted in January 2018 a request to the police to investigate the matter. The matter is still pending with the police.
"We are receiving more reports than before of different kinds of scams and abuse aimed at consumers. The companies persuade consumers to make orders by using erroneous or misleading information, and this is followed by aggressive debt collection using collection agencies. The Consumer Ombudsman has, in general, good evidence of illegal behaviour, but does not have the means to prevent it. These kinds of scams can quickly expand to become large-scale disputes involving thousands of consumers which are a burden both to the victims themselves and the authorities and courts. For this reason, we would hope that the police would respond more quickly to the criminal activities highlighted by us", states Consumer Ombudsman Katri Väänänen.
Instructions for dealing with KT Kustannus
If you have received an invoice from KT Kustannus, but you do not believe that you have made the order detailed in the invoice, you can file a complaint with KT Kustannus and leave the invoice unpaid. Our Complaint Assistant can help you to make a written complaint. If the company continues to seek payment of the invoice after the complaint is made, you can contact the Consumer Advisory Services by using the online consumer services form.
Consumer authorities have received numerous contacts regarding telesales of the Kouluturvaa magazine, Finnish Competition and Consumer Agency Press release 23.11.2017