Homeplus has become mired in a controversy, with its contracted maintenance firm claiming the retailer pressured them to purchase vouchers during holiday seasons.
Upon receiving the case, the Fair Trade Commission viewed that while Homeplus’ alleged action did not have a forced nature, the contracted company had reasons to feel pressured. It sent the company a warning, a mild form of discipline.
According to the industry, the maintenance company that had been contracted to clean, maintain parking spaces and manage carts filed a complaint against Homeplus last year.
The company claimed that it was forced to purchase the retailer’s vouchers worth 128 million won ($112,180) between 2009 and 2012.
It has reportedly been confirmed that some Homeplus employees sent emails to the subcontractor asking them to buy the vouchers upon the retailers’ sales performance campaign.
The vouchers in question are certificates that can be traded for cash at the Homeplus stores.
The FTC, meanwhile, said that it was difficult to determine the forced nature of the action, as the dates of purchases were dispersed and a majority of the subcontractors did not raise an issue. They could also not find relevance between the voucher purchases and their business contracts. The FTC added that it was the subcontractors that decided on the amount of vouchers to purchase.
By Shim Woo-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)