Competition & Markets Authority
CMA continues action in the PCR testing market
The CMA has launched a formal investigation into Dante Labs, a private provider of PCR tests, to investigate concerns the firm may be breaking the law.
- Dante Labs targeted by watchdog over treatment of customers.
- Latest firm to face action in efforts to make testing market work better for consumers.
The latest Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) investigation will probe concerns that Dante Labs may be treating customers unfairly by:
- Not delivering PCR tests and/or results on time or at all.
- Failing to respond to complaints or provide proper customer service.
- Refusing or delaying refunds when requested.
- Using T&Cs which may unfairly limit consumers’ rights.
The firm, a popular provider of PCR travel tests in the UK this summer, has generated complaints from customers to Citizens Advice and directly to the CMA over recent months.
This investigation is the latest stage of the CMA’s ongoing probe into concerns about customers being treated unfairly in the PCR testing market. On 3 September, the CMA launched an investigation into Expert Medicals, a large private PCR firm. In addition, a further 19 test providers have also been told directly by the CMA to improve their pricing information or risk further action.
Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive of the CMA, recently said:
People are paying significant amounts of money for these crucial PCR tests and there is no excuse for poor or non-existent service.
While the rules in England around PCR testing for travel are due to change in the coming weeks, the CMA will continue to investigate whether companies are breaking the law.
Firms should be aware that if we find evidence of the law being broken, we will not hesitate to take action.
The CMA has requested enhanced powers, including fines, to tackle consumer rip-offs and bad business practices. The Government is currently consulting on these proposals.
Further information can be found on the PCR travel tests enforcement action web page.
Notes to Editors
- The recent announcement marks the start of the CMA’s investigation into a possible breach of consumer law by Dante Labs. No decision has yet been made on whether Dante Labs is breaking the law. Ultimately, only a court can decide whether a breach has occurred.
- Dante Labs is a company comprising Dante Labs S.r.l. and Dante Labs Inc.
- The Department for Health and Social Care have confirmed that consumers who have already purchased test packages from Dante Labs will still be able to use these as a valid test package upon arriving in the UK.
- The UK Government has stated that from the end of October it wants to allow eligible fully vaccinated passengers and those with an approved vaccine from a select group of non-red countries to replace their day 2 PCR test with a cheaper lateral flow test, reducing the cost of tests on arrival into England. At present, no changes have been announced in respect of international arrivals into Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
- On 25 August the CMA published an open letter warning PCR test providers against breaking consumer law.
- For media queries, please contact the press office via email@example.com or on 020 3738 6460.
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