Firms caught faking labels

Manufacturers have been caught faking the energy performance of domestic ovens in the UK. One in four ovens on the market were found to have crooked labels by the UK market surveillance authority. The public has been losing £700,000 worth of energy savings each year while the abuse was ongoing. This welcome investigation by the National Measurement Office, announced on Wednesday, concluded that firms had broken the rules and abused testing margins in order to gain better energy ratings, a valuable marketing tool, not least because of their overall credibility. Businesses have co-operated with the authority and have not disputed its charge. Evidence then that firms will break the rules, and evidence of the benefits to consumers from solid market surveillance. More details here.

Court tells Ebay it cannot pass the buck

A victory in the courts for MarketWatch German partner VZBV last week after its regional member, VZ NRW, had its complaint against internet giant Ebay upheld by the high regional court of Cologne. The court told Ebay that it would be held liable for its own marketing of dealers that fail to display energy labels where required to do so. Additionally, the court said that a link to energy labels displayed elsewhere is not enough. The court took a stand against a trend for retailers to argue that they are not responsible where they are not the end distributors of the products. For more, click here (in German).