The Role of Court Experts in Resolving Consumer Complaints

Assistant Minister for consumer protection Vesna Novaković has said early today that opening the TAIEX Workshop “The Role of Court Experts in Resolving Consumer Complaints”, that consumer complaints occur when consumers are not satisfied with the goods they bought or service they received.

She has said that it is important that consumers make complaints and that it is a significant segment of the consumer protection policy.

Consumer complaints can be resolved positively and satisfactorily for both parties, but sometimes it is necessary to have a third side, though a formal judgement or through negotiation and settlement, Ms Novaković has said.

Assistant Minister has stressed that consumer complaints can be resolved dually, in an extrajudicial or judicial way and then an important role prior to the initiation of consumer complaint, belongs to consumer protection associations regarding education of consumers, provision of legal advice and writing of complains to sellers in order to resolve the consumers’ issues.

She has said that if the total performance of the associations does not result in a positive outcome, the consumer can initiate a procedure before the competent court.

“The fact that consumer complaints became an integral part of the Law on Civil Procedure proves that the significance of these complaints has been recognised in the Republic of Serbia. Since the court procedures are lengthy and since the consumers are impatient to exercise their consumer rights, the Law on Consumer Protection regulates the extrajudicial resolution of consumer complaints, especially having in mind the unequal position of consumers and sellers regarding the financial abilities, absence of knowledge about the rights and inexperience in court procedures”, Ms Vesna Novaković has stated.

Whichever mechanism of protection to apply, it is necessary that the procedure of resolving the complaint defines i.e. proves irregularity of procured goods and in that respect it is necessary to ensure a finding and opinion of an expert having a competent knowledge and skills, she has concluded.

The workshop organised by the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, in cooperation with the European Commission, will take place on Tuesday 18th and Wednesday 19th October 2016, in the hotel “88 rooms” in Belgrade, with the aim to have the experts from the EU share their knowledge and experience on how they regulated the role of court experts in the process of resolving consumer complaints in their countries, how they regulated the issue of costs of their engagement, and present the procedure of proving the non-conformity of the goods through examples of jurisprudence.