Do you know your businesses’ legal obligations towards your customers? If not, then you might be faced with a complaint made by the customer to the Consumer Protection Service!
The obligation to inform regarding the right to withdraw
Where a business sells products or provides services to consumers online, it is obligated to inform consumers that they have a right to withdraw from the agreement.
This is essentially the consumer’s right, when purchasing products or services online, to cancel the agreement within 14 days from the delivery of the products or services, without having to give a reason for the cancellation.
Not informing the consumer regarding the right to withdraw, results in an extension of the period within which the consumer may withdraw, by 1 year. Also, it grants the consumer the right to submit a complaint against the business to the Consumer Protection Service, which can impose an administrative fine.
The obligation to inform regarding the Electronic Dispute Resolution Platform
Also, whenever a business is involved in e-commerce, it should inform consumers in its website terms and conditions, about the Electronic Dispute Resolution Platform of the European Union.
It should be borne in mind that this obligation applies regardless if the business is addressed to consumers situated in the Republic of Cyprus or of another European Union Member state.
In the event of an infringement of this obligation, then the consumer may submit a complaint against the business to the Consumer Protection Service, which can impose an administrative fine to the business of up to €10,000.
The obligation to inform regarding the Alternative Dispute Resolution Entity
According to European legislation, businesses established in the Republic of Cyprus are obligated to inform consumers regarding the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Entity by which they are covered in the event that a dispute cannot be resolved by submitting a complaint directly to the business.
Also, in such an event the business is obligated to inform the consumer whether it will in fact use an ADR Entity to resolve the dispute. This information must be provided to the consumer in writing, either in print form or in electronic form and in any case in a permanent form.
In the event of an infringement of this obligation, then the consumer may submit a complaint against the business to the Consumer Protection Service, which can impose an administrative fine of up to €10,000.
There are numerous advantages for businesses to be covered by an ADR Entity and serious businesses prefer to resolve disputes through an ADR Entity.
This is because disputes are resolved within 90 days at a low cost for the business as well as the consumer.
The Cyprus Consumer Center for ADR is a licensed ADR Entity. Our aim is to provide easy access to consumers and businesses alike to resolve their disputes quickly and cost effectively in cases where such disputes cannot be resolved by the business internally.
Choosing an ADR Entity is also beneficial for a business because it makes the business more accessible to customers as disputes are resolved in a friendly manner aiming at reaching an amicable solution instead of relying on court procedures. Also, the business gains an advantage against its competitors and improves its public image towards consumers.
For more information please visit us on www.adr.com.cy
This article does not constitute legal advice.
The publication of this article is partly funded by the European Union’s “Consumer Programme (2014-2020)”.