Filing a complaint
- Consumer rights
- The Consumer Disputes Committee
- Submitting an application to the Consumer Disputes Committee
If a problem has appeared or a defect has been discovered after buying/ordering goods or services, turn immediately, but no later than within 2 months since discovering the defect, to the store or service enterprise to resolve the problem.
In order to solve all future problems, make sure to keep the purchase documents (purchase receipt, contract etc.), which prove that the purchase was made from exactly that store or service enterprise on exactly that date. Without documentation to prove the purchase, the seller shall not be obligated to resolve the complaint. In case of defective goods or services, the consumer shall have the right to file a complaint to the seller within two years since the purchase date. The seller shall be obligated to prove the reasons for the deficiency within the first six months after making the purchase. When the six months have passed, everything related to giving such proof shall be agreed upon between the seller and the consumer.
If the seller has notified the consumer of the deficiencies of the thing (if the thing is defective or has already been used or if another real defect is discovered on the thing during the selling process) and the consumer has agreed to purchase the thing in such a form, then the consumer shall not have the right to file any complaints at a later time. The first step after discovering a defect on an item is to gather all purchase documents and revisit the store. Explain the problem and give your own solution: eliminating the defect, lowering the price, replacing the item with another one or returning the item.
If the buyer is not satisfied with the seller’s answer, he/she shall submit a written application to the management of the store. The application shall contain the following:
- date of making the purchase;
- date of discovering the fault or defect;
- characteristics of the fault or defect;
- the consumer’s own solution.
In case of defective goods or services, the consumer shall have the right to:
- firstly, demand that the thing was repaired free of charge or replaced with new goods (services);
- demand that the price of goods (services) was lowered or that the contract was cancelled, if:
- the seller is unable to repair or replace the goods or
- the repair or replacement is unsuccessful
- the seller has failed to eliminate the defect of the goods within a reasonable period of time.
The trader (service provider) is obligated to review a claim within 15 days and notify the consumer of a possible solution. If an agreement is not reached or the trader refuses to resolve the consumer’s complaint, the consumer can submit a claim for the resolution of the dispute to the Consumer Disputes Committee, which shall accept it. If the proceedings do not result in a desired solution for the consumer, he/she has the opportunity to turn to the county court. The same applies to the opposing party. Procedures with the Consumer Disputes Committee are free of charge for the consumer.
The Consumer Disputes Committee
The Consumer Disputes Committee is an independent and impartial entity competent to resolve consumer disputes which arise from contracts between consumers and traders, and which are initiated by a consumer if the parties to the dispute are a consumer who is a resident of Estonia and an entrepreneur registered in Estonia. Cross-border consumer disputes are resolved with the help of The European Consumer Centre of Estonia.
In comparison with a court action, the committee solves problems much faster and more conveniently, in a less time- and money-consuming manner. The resolution of a dispute by the Consumer Disputes Committee is free of charge for the consumer and the entrepreneur, and a resolution is generally reached within 90 days from the date the proceeding of the complaint was started.
The Committee does not resolve disputes related to:
- the provision of non-economic services of general interest;
- the educational service provided by legal persons governed by public law;
- the health care service provided by health care professionals to patients to assess, maintain or restore their state of health, including the prescription, dispensation and provision of medicinal products and medical devices;
- claims arising from an event of death, physical injury or damage to heath;
- the resolution procedure prescribed by other Acts in conformity with the requirements provided in this Act.
Such disputes are resolved in the county curt or another competent institution.
More information about the work of the Consumer Disputes Committee is available at the home page of the Consumer Protection Board.
Submitting an application to the Consumer Disputes Committee
Submit an application (pdf, 211 kB) to the Committee if you have already turned to the trader in a written form but have not received a reply or if you do not agree with the solution offered by the trader.
The application can be
- submitted electronically at the Consumer Protection Board’s service environment;
- sent by regular mail to the Consumer Disputer Committee’s Secretariat at Pronksi 12, 10117 Tallinn;
- sent by e-mail to email@example.com.
The application must include:
- the consumer’s name, address and other contact details;
- business name and place of the trader;
- the subject of the complaint and a clearly stated claim (desired outcome) along with reasoning;
- the consumer’s confirmation of having turned to the trader previously.
- the consumer’s confirmation of the fact that this complaint is not being resolved by another designated body or the dispute is not being or has not been processed previously by the court.
It must be noted on the application that it is being submitted to the Consumer Dispute Committee. The application must be signed digitally or by a handwritten signature.
The application must include copies of all documents relating to the dispute and your claim, including:
- proof of purchase or signing of the contract (contract, order confirmation, photos, proof of documents of warranty against defects or contractor’s guarantee);
- proof of payment with the name of the payer visible, if possible;
- the entire correspondence related to the dispute;
- other documents related to the dispute, for example, the contract, order confirmation, guarantee documents, photos etc.
The Consumer Disputes Committee generally resolves disputes in a written proceeding, which means the Committee, will resolve the case based on the submitted documents. If you, however, request oral hearing of the matter, this must be clearly stated on the application. When deciding upon an oral proceeding, it must be taken into account that the consumer has to be present at the Committee’s hearing.
More information about submitting an application is available at the home page of the Consumer Protection Board.