Entrepreneurs who came to the main office of Wildberries in Moscow choose “somewhat aggressive” ways to resolve the conflict, said Kristina Spireva, director of services development for the company, at a press conference, commenting on the demands of sellers to unblock their accounts on the site.
According to her, suspicious activity was noticed in the personal accounts of about 300 entrepreneurs, in connection with which they were invited to the office to clarify the situation, with respect to 60% of them, the check was completed, work continues with 120.
“From the first day, Wildberries has been actively negotiating with entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs have repeatedly been invited to the office for personal conversations with the security service, and with IT specialists, and support specialists to testify. Not all entrepreneurs make contact, and, unfortunately, today we see that instead of being in a dialogue and taking a certain number of actions together in order to resolve the issue that has arisen, we see that entrepreneurs choose somewhat aggressive ways to resolve the conflict “, – said Spireva.
According to her, the company wanted to solve the problem “behind the scenes”, but it did not work out “in the direction in which it was originally planned”.
Spireva said that the information that the accounts of 300 entrepreneurs “for a large amount” were blocked is not true, but, according to her, payments for some sellers were indeed suspended.
Wildberries operates in the legal field, strictly in accordance with the contract, said Konstantin Suvorov, a company consultant. He also commented on the collective appeals of entrepreneurs to the Investigative Committee and the Prosecutor General’s Office – the consultant urged them to contact Wildberries directly “in accordance with the procedure established in the contract.” According to Suvorov, the company’s damage, according to them, “several times exceeds the amounts that were not paid to the sellers,” and may exceed 1 billion rubles. The consultant explained that the contract stipulates the rules for suspension of payments – they can be suspended for 21 days, but he also explained that the number of such suspensions is not regulated by the contract. Answering the question why the company does not resolve this issue in the legal field – does not file lawsuits against entrepreneurs, Suvorov said that it takes time to conduct an audit both internally and with the help of law enforcement agencies. Also, according to him, claims from sellers with whom the issue was not resolved were not received by Wildberries.
The fact that on May 23 about 70 people gathered in the company’s office demanding to unblock accounts on the marketplace was previously reported by RIA Novosti. Chairman of the Public Monitoring Commission (POC) of Moscow Georgy Volkov said that human rights activists have created a hotline for entrepreneurs, as there was an increase in requests from small and medium-sized businesses to respect their rights and interests while working with marketplaces.
“At the initiative of the President of the Good Technologies Foundation (Chairman of the PMC of Moscow), member of the HRC Alexei Melnikov, Ombudsman in the restaurant business of Moscow Sergey Mironov and human rights activist Alexandra Baksheeva, a federal hotline for participants in the e-commerce market has been launched today,” RIA quotes News” words by Volkov.
Alexey Melnikov, executive secretary of the capital’s POC, told the agency that the hotline is the beginning of a path that will lead to the formation of a new interaction between market participants.
In early May, Wildberries spoke about illegal methods of promotion on the marketplace, due to which the site lost about 650 million rubles. In this regard, Wildberries turned to law enforcement agencies to initiate a criminal case on fraud on an especially large scale. According to Wildberries, the attackers created a Telegram bot, where they provided their services to site sellers. About 300 sellers could use the “gray promotion” on the online platform.
On the evening of May 11, several dozen sellers of the site staged a rally outside the company’s office in Moscow. They claimed they were billed for the promotion. According to the representative of the sellers, lawyer Alexander Baksheev, about 2 billion rubles could be written off from suppliers. After that, Wildberries suspended accruals for advertising during the investigation.
On May 18, the expert council at the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) called on Wildberries to abandon unilateral actions that dramatically change the working conditions and the purchase of goods on the site. At the same time, the marketplace was recommended to create a mechanism for pre-trial settlement of disputes and develop practices “with a view to establishing reasonable and proportionate conditions for users.”
In response to this, the company assured that it was developing a mechanism for pre-trial resolution of disputes, and noted that it was actively cooperating with the antimonopoly service. The site also promised to present the results of the study of issues from the FAS protocol.
Kommersant, citing SPARK data, wrote that since the beginning of this year, more than 560 claims to the marketplace have been filed with arbitration courts, and about 730 applications for the past 2022.
In mid-March, a dispute arose between the owners of pickup points (PIU) and Wildberries due to the introduction of fines for pickup points for returning goods due to marriage or substitution. Then some of the outlet owners went on strike, including at the central office of the marketplace. After that, the company announced the closure of those outlets whose owners “choose uncivilized forms of dialogue,” however, State Duma deputies and the Ministry of Labor intervened in the incident, because of which Wildberries agreed to freeze about 10,000 fines.
On April 21, the marketplace, together with the Opora Rossii commission, which also participated in resolving the conflict, approved a write-off mechanism for substitution of goods, under which employees will be encouraged for the absence of these substitutions.