Chartered Trading Standards Institute
CMA action secures improvements from leading PCR testing provider
After thousands of customers received their money back from Dante Labs, the firm has committed to pay any outstanding refunds within 21 days, following CMA action.
- Dante Labs to ensure that all refunds due to PCR test customers have been paid.
- Latest PCR testing provider to improve its practices following CMA investigation.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has secured formal commitments – known as undertakings – from Dante Labs. The firm will complete its review of complaints from the summer and ensure people have received refunds if they tried to exercise their cancellations rights or if their test kits or results were provided late. Dante Labs has already refunded thousands of customers and, under the terms of the undertakings, any outstanding refunds must be paid within 21 days.
The commitments secured by the CMA also oblige Dante Labs to strengthen the protections for customers in its terms and conditions, improve customer service and provide clearer product information. The company has pledged to:
- Advertise clear information about the services it provides, including the timeframes expected for test results to be delivered.
- Ensure customers know their rights for cancellations and refunds.
- Maintain a proper customer service system, which includes responding to complaints and queries in a helpful and timely way.
- Provide the CMA with an update report in 3 months on its progress implementing all changes.
The CMA launched its investigation into Dante Labs in September 2021. This followed complaints that the firm had failed to provide test kits and results in a timely manner or at all; had failed to respond to customer complaints; and had refused to issue refunds where they were due.
Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive at the CMA, said:
No PCR testing firm is exempt from the rules and our action to secure these refunds and other changes shows that we will not tolerate poor business practices.
While travel rules to the UK may have changed, those people who still require PCR tests to travel abroad shouldn't have to waste money on late results or tests that don't arrive.
It is crucial that all PCR providers treat people fairly, being clear on price and timings and providing refunds where they are due.
The investigation into Dante Labs is part of a wider programme of work by the CMA to protect consumers buying PCR tests. In August 2021, the CMA published an open letter to PCR providers outlining how they should comply with consumer law.
The CMA has also sent letters to 25 PCR test providers, warning them to review their terms and conditions – and other practices – or risk enforcement action. This recently resulted in changes being secured from major PCR test provider Randox . The CMA currently has a formal investigation open into another PCR test provider, Expert Medicals, and will provide an update in due course.
In addition, the CMA has provided advice to the UK government on ways to make the PCR testing market work better for consumers. The recommendations included improving the basic standards to qualify for inclusion and remain on the GOV.UK list; monitoring providers on this list and swiftly removing, and sanctioning, those firms that don't meet these standards; and adding information to enable consumers to compare providers properly and find the best deals for them.
Further information can be found on the CMA rapid review of PCR testing for travel page and the PCR travel tests enforcement action page. The CMA is also monitoring the emerging private lateral flow testing market for international travellers.
Notes to Editors
- Dante Labs is a company comprising Dante Labs S.r.l. and Dante Labs Inc.
- If customers have not been contacted by Dante Labs and believe they are eligible for a refund they can contact them here.
- These undertakings have been provided to the CMA voluntarily and without any admission of wrongdoing or liability. It should not be assumed that the law has been breached – only a court can decide whether a breach has occurred.
- For media queries, please contact the press office via email@example.com or on 020 3738 6460.
|News & Policy||Trading Standards Professional||CTSI for Business||Leaving the EU||Working with Government|
Latest News from
Chartered Trading Standards Institute
Queen's Speech notes several key areas for consumer protection13/05/2022 13:48:00
This year's Queen's Speech at the State Opening of Parliament, which was for the first time given on Her Majesty's behalf by the Prince of Wales, contained several references to upcoming legislation relevant to consumer protection.
Consumer code scheme now boasts almost 80,000 business members across UK10/05/2022 16:10:00
The Consumer Codes Approval Scheme (CCAS) has today published a new report revealing that the scheme now has almost 80,000 business members and has helped to recover over £3.5m for consumers in 2021, which is a rise of £1.5m or 75% over the previously reported figure (£2m).
UK Government keeps critical service in place for consumers making purchases from abroad21/04/2022 13:33:00
UK consumers will continue to have access to a critical service that provides them redress in the event of a purchase being made abroad going wrong after an announcement that UK Government funding would continue for at least another year.
Increased protections for consumers welcomed but risks are still increasing21/04/2022 09:20:00
Crucial reforms to consumer protection announced by the UK Government have been welcomed by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), but it also warns that consumers are facing increasing levels of risk.
CTSI highlights choking risks to young children14/04/2022 15:10:00
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) is raising awareness of choking risks from small objects in very young children and babies. They are working with other partners which include the British Toy & Hobby Association (BTHA), the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), and the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS), among others, to help prevent unnecessary injury and even death as part a UK Government-sponsored #nilbymouth campaign.
CTSI makes senior appointments to drive modernisation and enhance support for the Trading Standards profession01/04/2022 12:30:00
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) has appointed Riyad Islam and Duncan Stephenson as Director of Finance and Corporate Services and Director of Policy and Public Affairs, respectively.
CTSI urges consumers to watch out for online scams on World Consumer Rights Day16/03/2022 11:25:00
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) urges UK consumers to be on the lookout for scams as it supports World Consumer Rights day, which this year focuses on Building Fair Digital Finance. Consumers International report that the UK has been branded ‘bank scam capital of the world’.
New guide launched for green energy installation businesses08/03/2022 14:10:00
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) is launching a new, free expert guide for green energy installation businesses through its Business Companion platform.