The Consumer Protection Act is the main piece of legislation that governs the relationship between individuals and traders in relation to the purchase and sale of consumer goods and the provision of consumer services. It sets out detailed rules regarding the rights of consumers and the obligations of traders.
Among the main rights included in the statutory consumer protection are:
Conversely, consumer protection rules provide for numerous obligations for the traders, including:
Apart from the Consumer Protection Act, as of 01.01.2022 the special Act on the Provision of Digital Content and Services and on the Sale of Goods entered into force. This Act regulates specific cases of consumer protection regarding mainly digital content and digital services. The Act was adopted in order to implement European legislation in the field of consumer protection.
The trade custom says that the customer always has a right. Hence the common misconception is that consumers have absolute rights which traders are obliged to respect unconditionally. However, this is not the case.
In the legal practice of ‘Sylvia Petkova’ Lawfirm, we have experienced numerous unfounded complaints from consumers who have not complied with their own obligations when exercising their rights to make a complaint or to withdraw a distance contract, but still lodge complaints before the Consumer Protection Commission and the courts. Where a legally substantiated statement is provided in response to unfounded complaints and all the necessary evidence is attached, the complaints and claims are not upheld.
However, this has at least two negative consequences for the trader. Firstly, the trader’s reputation with current and future customers is damaged and secondly, the costs of defending against an unsubstantiated claim, which is very often deliberately over-exposed by the consumer in order to have a greater emotional impact on the public authorities, are incurred. This consumer behavior is considered reprehensible by law and leads to the activation of the possibility of compensation for the damage suffered by the trader.
‘Sylvia Petkova’ Law Firm has an extensive practice in providing legal assistance to traders on consumer complaints and claims through the following services:
“Sylvia Petkova” Lawfirm provides the opportunity for subscription legal services to traders in the field of consumer protection law with a special service included – the establishment of a “Complaints and Returns” department based in our law firm. Within this service, our specialists take over the full communication with consumers regarding complaints and exercise of the right of withdrawal of a contract. The aim is to ensure that the trader complies with all legal requirements in order to reduce the risk of consumer complaints being lodged and/or, if they are lodged, to insure their rejection as inadmissible.
The extensive practice of the Law Firm “Silvia Petkova” in the field of consumer protection law shows that the most frequent violations of the rules for consumer protection are related to unlawful disregard of claims; refusal to provide the opportunity to exercise the right of return; implementation of unfair trade practices, as well as the inclusion of unfair clauses in consumer contracts. These clauses are most common in financial credit agreements.
The competent public authorities that deal with complaints from consumers against traders for breaches of consumer protection rules are the Consumer Protection Commission and the courts.
In many cases, it turns out that consumer complaints before the Commission or the courts are rejected because of incorrect pleading, insufficiency of evidence or other misconduct on the part of the consumer who has taken up his own defense.
‘Sylvia Petkova’ Lawfirm provides legal assistance in the field of consumer protection law through the following services: