Who can submit a complaint and why?
Any consumer (as the concept of consumer is define in Law 2251/1994 as in force), who wants to report a detrimental act or omission that constitutes a consumer dispute.
How can I submit the complaint?
May I submit a complaint by phone?
NO. The Authority does not accept telephone complaints. The accepted ways of submitting complaints are indicated in the answer of the previous question.
May I submit a complaint online?
YES, it is possible to submit a complaint online via a web form on the Authority's website.
How can I fill the complaint form?
For the online submission of a complaint, you have to fill in a web form.
In all other cases of submission, the completion of the complaint can be done in two ways:
- Complete the sample form available on the Authority's website.
- Write your complaint on a sheet of paper in such a way as to comply with the conditions of receipt by the Authority.
What a complaint must contain in order to be accepted (What are the conditions for receiving the complaint?)
- The necessary data of the complainant (e.g. name, surname, full address).
- The necessary data of the trader being complained (company name, full address).
- A clear description of the consumer dispute, an accurate identification of the damage or harmful effect suffered by the complainant and a clearly formulated request for mediation.
- Signed complaint in case of in-person submission.
- A copy of the identity card (as proof of identity of the complainant).
Do I have to attach a copy of my identity card with my complaint?
If the complaint is sent by post or e-mail, a copy of the identity card must be attached (as proof of the identity of the complainant).
How is the identity of the complaining consumer checked?
- In the online submission of a complaint, the interested party enters the system, using the taxisnet credentials and a check is carried out using the authentication services of GSISPA.
- In the case of the submission in person, the identity is checked when submitting the complaint.
- Finally, in any case of non-personal submission (via post or e-mail) a copy of the identity card must be attached (as proof of the identity of the complainant).
Is there a time frame within which the complaint must be submitted?
YES, the complaint must be submitted within one year after the consumer has become fully aware of the detrimental act or omission that constitutes the consumer dispute.
Does the Consumer Ombudsman accept notifications of complaints sent to companies or other bodies?
No, the Consumer Ombudsman handles complaints that are addressed to him and that contain a request for mediation.
A case is pending in the courts, May I file a complaint with the Consumer Ombudsman?
No, the Consumer Ombudsman does not deal with cases pending before the judicial authorities.
If during the processing of a case, the consumer or the trader appeals to judicial authorities, then the proecssing by the Authority is interrupted and the case is filed.
In which cases the Consumer Ombudsman deal not with a complaint?
- When the case is pending before the judicial authorities.
- when the complaint is out of time (more that one year has elapsed since the consumer has become fully aware of the detrimental act or omission that constitutes the consumer dispute).
- when the Authority is not competent to handle a case.
- when the complaint is clearly unfounded, vague or insignificant.
In which cases a complaint is considered vague, unfounded or insignificant?
Some indicative cases among others:
- When there is no clearly formulated request for mediation.
- When the damage or harmful effect suffered by the complainant is not clearly specified.
- When there is insufficient evidence of the parties involved (consumer & trader)
- When the complaint concerns a lawful practice of the company complained of, or if it is found to be abusive or against of the principle of good faith.
When a complaint is considered to be out of time?
When more that one year has elapsed since the consumer has become fully aware of the detrimental act or omission that constitutes the consumer dispute.
What is the procedure for handling complaints?
The procedure for handling complaints is described in detail in a relevant infographic.
When are the parties invited to a meeting for consensual settlement?
Once the exchange of views between the parties involved has been completed and no consensual solution has been found, and the case handler has formed a complete picture of the consumer dispute and considers that there is sufficient evidence and a legal basis against the supplier, the Consumer Ombudsman invites the parties involved to a meeting at his offices, with the aim of finding a consensual, mutually acceptable solution of the dispute.
When is a settlement report drawn up? Is it an enforceable title?
If a consensual resolution is reached before the Consumer Ombudsman, the Authority draws up a conciliation report that may be filed to the Single-member Court of First Instance of Athens with diligence by any of the parties involved.
If the aforementioned conciliation report certifies the agreement of the parties to the existence of a claim that can be pursued through enforcement, it is an enforceable title.
When does the Consumer Ombudsman issue a written Recommendation/ Conclusion for a case?
If all possibilities for finding a consensual solution to the consumer dispute have been exhausted and if the evidence made available to the Authority is sufficient and a legal basis against the supplier exists, then the Consumer Ombudsman has discretion in making a written Recommendation / Conclusion, calling on the parties involved within a certain period of time to comply with it and implement the proposed solution.
- If the recommendation is accepted, then the case is definitively closed and filed and the recommendation is published on the Authority's website anonymously (without the details of the parties involved).
- If the recommendation is not accepted, then the case is filed as unresolved and the recommendation is published on the Authority's website with the full details of the supplier.
How will I be informed about the progress of my case?
The Consumer Ombudsman informs the complainant consumer in writing of any significant development concerning his case. More specifically, it notifies him/her of important actions, such as the notification of the complaint to the trader complained of, the meeting for consensual agreement, the cancellation or postponement of the meeting, the issuing of a recommendation/ conclusion and the rejection of the case for specific reasons.
However, at any stage of the processing of the case, the complainant consumer may contact either by e-mail or by telephone with the case handler in order to be informed about the progress of his/her case.
Can I withdraw my complaint during its processing by the Consumer Ombudsman?
At any stage of the processing of a case, the complainant may withdraw his/her complaint without further explanation. However, it should inform the Authority accordingly either by post or by e-mail.
Can the Consumer Ombudsman impose a fine on businesses?
No. Τhe Consumer Ombudsman, has no powers to impose fines.
In which cases does the Consumer Ombudsman file a complaint report to the judicial authorities?
If during the investigation of a case there are sufficient indications or evidence of the commission of criminal offences, these are notified to the competent judicial authorities.
A) Make sure you understand the responsibilities of the Consumer Ombudsman (StK)
and that the subject of the report
of you is within the scope of these powers (https://www.synigoroskatanaloti.gr/el/armodiotites & in particular article
4 Law 3297/2004, as applicable).
The STK has the authority and role of mediator between consumers and suppliers and does not impose sanctions. He is only responsible for cases that have arisen up to one year before the submission of the petition and for which no legal proceedings have been initiated.
Indicatively, the SC is not competent: for disputes between businesses, for disputes connected with the business, commercial or professional activity of the petitioner, for disputes from transactions for which no legal document has been issued, for cases related to the control of fuel, food and medicine prices or for alterations/forgery related to the above, for tax disputes and in general for civil disputes against public bodies , OTAs (Municipalities, Regions) etc.
B) Make sure it does not concern a company/professional based outside Greece, otherwise you can submit a report to the European Consumer Center (ECC) after taking into account the relevant conditions and powers of the ECC.
C) Contact the supplier in any convenient way, in order to raise the problem that concerns you and seek resolution and proceed with the report if the problem is not resolved within a reasonable time.