The Consumer Ombudsman ordered the imposition of a marketing ban on Suomen terveysravinne Oy over deceptive marketing of dietary supplements

Suomen terveysravinne has not clearly stated in its telephone marketing what a person ordering its products commits him, or herself to, and what the order will ultimately cost.

Suomen terveysravinne has offered consumers a dietary supplement product called Kehon vartija by telephone at least from 2013 and from the early part of the year 2014. The telephone marketers emphasised the low price of the order, and that ordering the introductory package does not commit the customer anything. However, they did not clearly say that by ordering an introductory package, the consumer automatically commits to a fixed-term order agreement unless he or she makes a separate cancellation.

According to the Consumer Protection Act, a customer must be told the content and total cost of the order clearly and in an understandable manner in the marketing call, as well as the right to cancel. Suomen terveysravinne did not act in this manner, and as a consequence, the consumers thought that they had agreed only on an introductory package.

The Consumer Ombudsman and consumer advisors at the Local Register Offices have received many contacts from consumers who have been invoiced by Suomen terveysravinne for a fixed-term contract although they feel that they only ordered an introductory package.

The Consumer Ombudsman held discussions with Suomen terveysravinne on the shortcomings of the company’s marketing. Because it did not change its marketing in spite of the discussions, the Consumer Ombudsman imposed a marketing ban on the company as of 7 April 2014. The company must abide by the ban on pain of a fine of EUR 100 000.

Instructions for consumers

If you have received an invoice from Suomen terveysravinne Oy for a fixed-term order agreement, even though you do not feel that you have only ordered an introductory package, file a complaint either by e-mail or as a registered letter both to Suomen terveysravinne, (, PL 9, 88601 Sotkamo) and to the handler of the billing, Svea Ekonomi (, Atomitie 2 C, 00370 Helsinki).

If debt collection procedures are instituted, complain about the collection in writing to the collection company. When you dispute your obligation to pay and give proper reasons for your stance, the debt collection may not legally proceed before the matter is cleared up.

If the complaints are not successful, it is worthwhile to contact Consumer advisory services.