Consumer Minute: written protest. What happens to my complaint?

When you enter a commercial establishment, it is common to see the red book hanging on the wall where you can write down your possible complaints.

The Complaints Book, both in physical and electronic format, is mandatory in all commercial or public service establishments. The physical book should be displayed in a visible place, since the Ebookmust be highlighted on the establishment’s official website, if applicable.

To file a complaint in the public sector, you have to use the “Yellow Book”, but in this case the rules are different.

Despite their name, these books don’t just get complaints. You can also leave compliments, suggestions or requests for information.

When a consumer files a complaint in the physical book, the message is written in triplicate. The original is sent to the competent authority, ie the regulatory activity of the sector in question, which will analyze the complaint and take action. The second copy remains with the consumer and the third remains in the complaints book.

Examples of regulatory entities are ASAE (Food and Economic Security Authority) or ANACOM (National Communications Authority).

The claim must be addressed to the competent entity within 15 days of the claim and the entity may attach to the document a defense of the claim it has received. Therefore, if you complain, keep evidence to support your statements. You will later receive a response with possible compensation, if you are justified.

If the complaint is made online, you can directly access the Complaint Book Platform and leave your complaint, compliment or suggestion to the economic operator. If you are registered on the platform, your data will be pre-filled, you will be able to check the status of the claim you have filed and consult the history of your claims.

In this case, economic operators must respond to digital complaints within a maximum period of 15 working days, from the date of receipt of the complaint. Otherwise, they can be fined.

If the service provider is not registered with the Platformlodge the complaint in the physical book or directly with the competent regulatory/supervisory authority, including the information that the service provider is not registered on the Platform.

Even if there is no longer a solution to your problem, file a complaint. You may be preventing the same thing from happening to other consumers.

According to the Complaints Book official website, in 2021, 205,449 complaints were filed and 22,503 goods suppliers and service providers were registered. In this year 2022, from the first day of the year until this last Sunday, the day of publication of this article, 192,301 complaints were filed, including 21,906 recorded performances.

The “Consumer Minute” is a project where we try to answer your questions every week. To be continued on Expresso Online and on the SIC Notícias channel, with the support of DECO Proteste. Send your questions to minuteconsumidor@deco.proteste.pt

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