Prior to 2007 the phenomenon of issuing credit cards to consumers and despoilment of large amounts of money by Weight loss Institutes and Fitness centers in cooperation with the Banks was extremely widespread. Soon we noticed the lack of legal framework and through our systematic, responsible and documented actions, we achieved the regulation of this matter by issuing a ministerial order in 2007.
By 2007 the legal framework did not exist. The Code of Conduct in force during that period was not implemented. We firmly stood by the consumers against this great injustice by being present in the Friendly Settlement Committee of the Prefecture of Athens, which came to conclusions in favor of the consumer. However, it was not just the support we provided to our members through additional intervention in litigation. Our main concern was to bridge the legal hiatus by creating a special regulatory framework under which the contracts with such companies would be concluded.
In order to achieve this legislative regulation we constantly filed statements/suggestions at the former Ministry of Development and Competitiveness and exerted pressure to provide a protective framework for consumers.
Intervention to establish a favorable legal framework
We set up a working group which actively participated in the dialogue with the committee responsible for shaping the legal framework. On the basis of our proposals it was prepared and we achieved the adoption of our proposals by the Ministerial Order 1262/2007 Z1, which ended to a large extent the arbitrariness of the Weight loss Institutes/Fitness centers.
Due to our persistent and strenuous struggles on this issue until 2007, when the M.O. was issued and the legal framework was finally established, we achieved the following:
The Fitness center "Universal" went bankrupt, after hundreds of complaints were filed, concerning the company' s non compliance with the Code of Conduct in force. Specifically, we proceeded to press releases on the company' s malfeasance, inducing significant economic consequences and affecting in particular its presence on the Stock Exchange Market leading to a fall of its share by 20%. The declining financial performance of the company resulted to its bankruptcy. Then, we filed letters to the Banks on behalf of each of our consumers-members who were harmed by the company in order to proceed to consumers' repayment. The results of our interventions were in favor of the consumers.
Collective action and complaint report against "Slim International", that resulted in the constriction of company products' advertisements (diet pills, massage pantyhose) as misleading and the compensation enforcement for consumer moral damage.
Intervention to the Institute "Beauty and Diet" and the banks for consumer repayment that resulted in the decline of the Institute who refused to comply.
We have taken such actions multiple times in the past that ended in favor of the consumers. We have supported and intervened in hundreds of cases and solutions were given to questions relating to fitness centers and weight loss institutes. Many companies were forced to repay the amounts that have been despoiled without providing the corresponding services.
Following the adoption of the Ministerial Order we inform and strongly protect the consumer against companies operating in the form of Weight loss Institutes or Fitness centers, which infringe the law, and we act effectively for the repayment.