UOKiK: Nearly PLN 3.5 million fine for Dr Smile

Luc Williams

The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) announced on Thursday in a press release that Dr Smile Polska offered correction of malocclusions through the use of custom-made, personalized tooth straightening overlays. Such products cannot be returned because they are tailored to a specific consumer.

“The company's clients registered a visit to one of the partner dental offices via its website. There, they performed a dental scan, based on which Dr. Smile prepared a treatment plan and arranged a telephone consultation,” explained the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection. He added that the next stage of the entrepreneur's activities raised the Office's doubts and was the main topic of numerous complaints received by the Office in 2023.

The information provided by the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection shows that the signals concerned mainly irregularities in the contract conclusion process. They pointed out that the company's consultant “conducts the conversation in such a way that the consumer does not even know that he is making a purchase, he just thinks that he is choosing a treatment plan and will have time to think about it.” Moreover, as noted, “it exerts time pressure and encourages you to make a purchase during a telephone conversation, without providing the conditions of withdrawal from the contract.”

The President of the Office conducted two proceedings against the entrepreneur – regarding violation of the collective interests of consumers and the use of prohibited provisions in contracts. Both ended with the issuance of decisions and the imposition of penalties – a total of almost PLN 3.5 million. It was added that for actions violating the collective interests of consumers, Dr Smile was fined over PLN 2.7 million and the company has the right to appeal to court. However, for using an prohibited contractual clause, the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection imposed a fine on the entrepreneur of over PLN 670,000. zloty; this decision is not final.


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