What the law says
Here is an extract of the European Union's website on the EU directive 2005/29/CE on unfair commercial practices :
"These arise when material information that the average consumer needs, according to the context, to take an informed transactional decision is omitted or provided in an unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely manner and thereby causes (or might cause) that consumer to take a purchase decision that he or she would not have otherwise taken." Check for yourself on the European Union website by clicking on this link.
Now, if you've read our explanations about the fraud number 1, you remember that the rules in the United States stated the odds of completing a collection. The rules in Ireland don't. Since McDonald's knew the real odds and deliberately failed to inform the consumers, there is a misleading omission and therefore a violation of EU directive 2005/29/CE.
The law on quasi-contracts
Before you keep reading, we must warn you that the following jurisprudence comes from a French court. We are however confident that the same interpretation will be made in any countries with a modern legal system.
Here is the jurisprudence of the cour de cassation (the highest court in France) :
Quasi-contracts being purely voluntary acts of man, the result of which is a commitment toward a third party, the organizer of a lottery who announces a prize to a person without highlighting the existence of a hazard/chance is obliged, by this purely voluntary act, to deliver the prize in question. (Cass., ch. mixte, 6 sept. 2002)
In this case, the "hazard/chance" is the fact that, for example, there wasn't an equal proportion of "Ailesbury Road" stickers and "Shrewsbury Road" stickers. McDonald's having voluntary omitted to give us this crucial piece of information, the "game" is not only a fraud but they also have to pay the players what they should have won had the game not been rigged.
What's a quasi-contract?
It's an obligation of one party to another imposed by law independently of an agreement between the parties. To put it in simple terms, it means McDonald's has a legal obligation toward you to pay you the prizes you should have won had the game not been rigged and this even though you didn't sign a contract in writing for example. The obligation is implicit, that's what a quasi-contract is. To make it really simple to understand, just imagine it's the same thing as a contract except that you aren't require to sign any documents.
We will put more explanations in this section very soon.