Shortcomings in indication of prices by barbers and hairdressers

The supervisiory campaign of the Finnish Regional State Administrative Agencies revealed that many barbers and hairdressers are unfamiliar with the requirement to display their prices for services as required by the Price Indication Decree.

In accordance with the decree issued on the indication of consumer product prices, referred to as the ‘Price Indication Decree,’ service providers must have their prices on display in their business premises. The price list must be displayed so that it is easy for consumers to see and, whenever possible, so that consumers can also examine it from outside the premises. Thus it is easier for consumers to compare the price levels of various companies when they are able to examine the prices without actually entering the premises.

The Regional State Administrative Agencies examined the level of compliance of barbers and hairdressers with this requirement. The objective of the supervisiory campaign was to make the price indication regulations better known and, consequently, to promote compliance with them. The supervision campaign was conducted in March-September 2014 in the areas of all Regional State Administrative Agencies and the Åland Islands, with inspections carried out in a total of 2,540 barber shops and hairdresser’s.

Depending on the region, some 20%–45% of the inspected companies were given a written or oral admonition. The shortcomings detected in the indication of prices included the following:

  • there was no price list at all
  • the price list was on display so that it could be examined from outside the premises, but the prices were not clearly indicated (for example, the price list was remarkably small in size, or written using a small font size)
  • the price list had been placed in such a manner that it was impossible for customers to find it
  • the price list indicated the prices of a few different services only, and was therefore not sufficiently comprehensive

Several enterprises considered the supervision campaign as a positive thing, and found the objectives of the campaign good. Some of the enterprises that were given an admonition stated that they had had no knowledge of the requirement to keep the price list on display, whenever possible, so that consumers can also examine it from outside the premises. Some of the companies had heard about the matter, but the content of the regulation had remained unclear to them. As a result of the supervision campaign, awareness of the Price Indication Decree increased and, at the same time, the inspectors provided the enterprises with additional information on obligations concerning price indication.

The Regional State Administrative Agencies and the Consumer Ombudsman will continue supervision related to display of price lists of services as part of their general supervision duties concerning indication of prices.

The Consumer Ombudsman prepares a policy concerning price indication

The Price Indication Decree that entered force on 18 July 2013 (553/2013) brought with it many reforms concerning indication of prices. To make application of the new regulations and those imposed for a longer time easier for enterprises, the Consumer Ombudsman is in the process of drafting a new combined and updated version of the earlier policies concerning price indication.

The draft policy is available for reading and comment on the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority’s (FCCA) website from 8 September to 3 October 2014. The Consumer Ombudsman will take the comments received into account when preparing the final version of the policy. The policy will be posted on the FCCA’s website at as soon as it has been finalised. Notification about the publication will be given separately.

Read more (in finnish) about The Government Decree on Price Indication