PS12527 - Italian Competition Authority: Facile Ristrutturare and Renovars fined 4.5 million euro for unfair and misleading business practices


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According to the Authority, the companies have spread false reviews online. In addition, it has emerged that, in some cases, they were applying a hidden cost in the case of a discounted VAT rate of 10% instead of 22%.

The Italian Competition Authority has fined Facile Ristrutturare S.p.A. and its parent company, Renovars S.p.A., a total of 4.5 million euro for unfair and misleading business practices in the residential building renovation sector.

The decision concerns, firstly, the widespread publication - on the online review platforms Trustpilot and - of inauthentic positive reviews that could be traced back to Facile Ristrutturare employees, and the message “98% of customers satisfied”, which turned out to be false, on the page all in order to claim a higher level of customer satisfaction than the actual one in relation to the services offered.

The investigation also revealed that Facile Ristrutturare applies a hidden cost to consumers in the case of a discounted VAT rate of 10%, instead of 22%, when finishing materials for renovations are purchased by them through Facile Ristrutturare and from its partner suppliers.

According to the Authority, Facile Ristrutturare and Renovars violated articles 20, 21 and 22 of the Consumer Code by disseminating inauthentic reviews online and a false percentage of customers who were satisfied with their services and by failing to monitor their employees’ activities. Furthermore, the application of a hidden cost when purchasing renovation materials through Facile Ristrutturare with a reduced VAT rate is not only contrary to professional diligence, but can also mislead consumers regarding the price of the renovation finishing materials and/or the way in which this price is calculated. It is, moreover, a significant cost item, economically, in the consumer’s decision-making process.


Rome, 28 December 2023