Alternative (Consumer) Dispute Resolution
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The main competence of the Authority is the out-of-court resolution of consumer disputes between suppliers and consumers, as the concepts of suppliers and consumers are defined each time in the law. In this context, the Authority can make recommendations, proposals and suggestions to suppliers, however, he does not have sanctioning powers.
The “Consumer's Ombudsman” Authority deals with consumer disputes in the entire range of the private sector and the financial services of public utility in the public sector, where contracts for the supply of products or the provision of services may be drawn up

  1. Cases after the submission of complaints on behalf of the consumers

    1. The complaint must be submitted within one year, after the interested party became fully aware of the harmful act or omission that constitutes the consumer dispute. Its submission does not interrupt or suspend the deadlines provided by law for the exercise of legal aid.

    2. Procedure for handling the cases  

  2. Ex officio cases

    1. “Consumer's Ombudsman” can take over cases of his competence ex officio, especially when a large number of consumers are affected by the business behavior of some suppliers.

  3. Cross-border cases, submitted through the European Consumer Centres Network (competence of ECC Greece)

    1. As from 1-1-2012, ECC-Greece has been operating under the auspices and with the support of the Independent Authority “Consumer's Ombudsman”, Since 2014, it has been formally designated as host organization to ECC-Greece, and since 2021, ECC-Greece has acquired the status of an independent department with its own administration and staffing within the Consumer's Ombudsman.

    2. ECC Greece, as part of ECC Network, is competent for the alternative (out-of-court) resolution of cross-border consumer disputes, i.e. disputes that have arisen from consumer transactions with suppliers in member states of the European Union, the United Kingdom, Norway and Iceland, outside their country of residence.

    3. Complaints are submitted through the websites of European Consumer Centres.

  4. Cases within ODR platform

    1. By Regulation (EU) 524/2013 of the European Parliament the EU provided a European online platform (known as the ODR platform) to facilitate the independent, transparent and effective online out-of-court resolution of disputes between consumers and traders.

    2. The ODR platform is an interactive website offering a single point of entry to consumers and traders seeking to resolve disputes out-of-court which have arisen from online transactions for consumers and traders in the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or United Kingdom.

    3. Cases can be either domestic or cross-border and are first reported to the complainant traders/suppliers and only after their agreement, cases are sent to ADR bodies that undertake mediation.

    4. Independent Authority “Consumer's Ombudsman” is one of the certified Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) bodies.

Λευκό Φόντο
Out-of-court settlement of non-performing exposures under the Banking Code of Conduct
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  • The Code of Conduct under Law 4224/2013 established general principles of conduct and the process of negotiation between borrowers and institutions with the goal of finding resolution for debts in arrears, through the mediation of “Consumer's Ombudsman”.

  • For the application of the Code of Conduct, institutions (banks and debt management companies) must establish a detailed Arrears Resolution Process (ARP) and must take all necessary measures to ensure the rules of transparency and proper information of the borrowers.

  • “Consumer's Ombudsman” competence starts only after the Arrears Resolution Process has been unsuccessfully completed.

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Monitoring of Code of Consumer Ethics
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  • The Consumer Code of Ethics was drawn up and issued following a suggestion-proposal of the Consumer's Ombudsman and, subsequently, a decision of the National Council of Consumer and Market.

  • The Code established principles and rules, with binding force, governing relations between consumers and suppliers and their associations, covering all commercial sectors of the private and public sectors. The Code recognizes obligations not only for suppliers, but also for consumers and their associations.

  • According to the Code, Independent Authority “Consumer's Ombudsman” is responsible for monitoring the implementation of the Code, as well as for mediation for an amicable resolution of disputes between suppliers and consumers, arising from a violation of the provisions of the Code.

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Application of the principle of equal treatment
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  • By law 3769/2009, the Consumer's Ombudsman was assigned the responsibility of monitoring and promoting compliance with the principle of equal treatment of men and women in access to products and services, pursuant to Directive 2004/113/EC (services and products of private sector).

  • Any person may address to the Consumer's Ombudsman by submitting a relevant complaint for discrimination suffered in violation of the principle of equal treatment even if the underlying relationship has ended.

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Other responsibilities of ECC Greece
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In addition to the alternative resolution of cross-border consumer displutes, the ECC Greece has the following responsibillities:

  • Contact Point for Online Dispute Resolution (ODR). Provide consumers with help and advice in relation to the Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) of Regulation (EU) No. 524/2013. (article 14 of Directive 2013/11/EU). Questions are submitted through the ODR platform.

  • Providing general information on all redress mediums available for the settlement of disputes between service providers and service recipients (article 21 of Directive 2006/123/EC).

  • Provide consumers with practical assistance in disputes with traders arising from the application of Regulation (EU) 2018/302 on geo-blocking.

  • Issuing alerts to the competent authorities about suspected consumer law infringements and for providing information set out in article 26(3) (“external alerts”), according to article 27 of Regulation (EU) 2017/2394.

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