People regularly enter into legal relationships as consumers without being aware of the legal remedies available to them if they are harmed in their dealings with traders. This is why our team advises you to ensure that your rights are guaranteed while also providing legal advice to traders in the conduct of their business.
Making consumer complaints against traders.
Regardless of the severity of the damage you have suffered, you should not ignore the option of claiming the trader responsible. Otherwise, if every consumer remains passive, the damaging activities of traders will not be sanctioned.
Consumers can contact public authorities and institutions by making a complaint in written or electronic form. The procedure for dealing with them by the competent bodies includes several detailed steps, so it is essential how consumers draft such a complaint to approach a favorable solution.
Repressing the effects of unfair terms.
Harm to consumers’ rights and interests may also result from the insertion of unfair terms in contracts with professionals. These are assessed by reference to the entire content of the agreement, i.e., other times of the contract or other contracts on which it depends, the factors which led to the conclusion of the contract, and the nature of the goods or services covered by the contract.
The court can be asked to enforce a clause in a contract. Unfair terms found to be personally enforceable by the legal authorities or by consumers themselves will no longer have any effect, and the agreement will continue to run without them, as far as possible; otherwise, consumers can claim termination of the contract and damages.
Consumer rights in credit relationships.
Meeting people’s consumer, personal, or family needs can be achieved by concluding a credit agreement with a bank or other credit institution. We can advise you on the specific advisability of completing such an agreement, analyzing its content in detail.
A credit agreement is an agreement whereby a creditor grants or promises to grant a consumer credit in the form of a deferred payment, loan, or another similar financial facility, except for agreements for the provision of services continuously or for the supply of goods of the same kind, where the consumer pays for them in installments for the duration of their condition.
By way of example, consumers have the following rights in credit relationships: to receive information at the pre-contractual stage about the credit offer, such as the type of credit, the creditor’s identification data, the interest rate on the glory, the guarantees required, the existence or non-existence of the right of withdrawal.
Conformity and safety of products and services offered by traders.
The trader must ensure the conformity and safety of products and services, a benefit provided by law to consumers. Otherwise, he is liable for damages caused to customers. Making a faulty product or service available to the consumer creates inconvenience, but we can help you fix it.
Suppose the consumer is not ensured that the product is repaired within a reasonable time or replaced. In that case, he may request the termination of the contract or, where appropriate, an appropriate reduction in the price.
In addition, the trader may offer the consumer a commercial guarantee, but this is contractual. The trader is obliged to issue a guarantee certificate, including information on the products’ repair and replacement time limits.
Unfair trading practices.
Abusive or unfair commercial practices are a danger to consumers, and mastering this concept is helpful for professionals to avoid criminal liability and to have an effective business plan without violating legal provisions and harming customers. Unfair commercial practices consist of misleading or aggressive practices.
Misleading practices are those actions by traders to use false information designed to mislead the consumer into making a commercial decision that they would not otherwise have made, for example: falsely stating that a product will only be available for a limited time, the trader displaying a certificate, a quality mark without having obtained the relevant authorization, describing a product as “free”, “no-cost”, when in reality this is not the case.
Aggressive practices are those actions which, in the context of the presentation of a product, are designed to significantly limit the consumer’s freedom of choice, including by harassment, coercion, or physical force, for example: making visits to the consumer’s home without asking for them to be terminated, misleading the consumer about the possibility of leaving the trader’s premises without agreeing to conclude a contract, broadcasting advertisements containing a direct exhortation to children to buy certain products or to persuade their parents to buy them.
Civil, administrative, and criminal liability of traders in consumer contracts.
In the area of consumer protection, professionals must comply with several mandatory legal provisions in their dealings with consumers. Knowing the effects of traders’ liability is relevant from the perspective of both professionals and consumers.
From a civil law perspective, in the event of a breach of contractual obligations, contractual liability may be incurred if the following conditions are met: the presence of a wrongful act, a culpable non-performance of obligations, the existence of the damage and a causal link between the wrongful act and the damage. In so far as the conditions of contractual civil liability are not met and there has been a culpable tort/delict, there will be a liability in tort to make good the damage.
Contraventional liability arises when an act or inaction has been committed which constitutes an administrative offense and is qualified as such by law or other normative acts. The main penalties for contraventions are a warning, a fine, community service, and other penalties established by special laws.
Criminal liability is triggered by the commission of an offense provided for by law, which does not exclude civil liability.
Representation in consumer rights litigation.
Some trader practices harm the life, health, safety, and economic interests of consumers, but there are also situations where professionals have to take action against consumers. Whatever your situation, we can represent you professionally in disputes arising from commercial relationships.
As in the other branches of law, any person can turn to the courts to defend their rights and legitimate interests in consumer law.