The online complaints form has been simplified. / sur

New complaints system in Andalucía aims to make the process more straightforward

A consumers' association has launched an information campaign with guidance about how to complain about a business

SUSANA ZAMORA MALAGA.

Every consumer has the right to make an official complaint when they buy a product or receive a service which does not live up to their expectations for some reason. The first step is to try to find a solution through dialogue, but if that is not possible then the Junta de Andalucía has a system including a complaint form which can be sent to the authorities.

This year the electronic forms have been simplified. There is more space to describe the problem that has occurred and documents can be attached. Within a year there will be an app and a QR code on posters to facilitate the process for the person complaining and the business in question.

Another change to the system is that complaints can now be processed by the local municipal consumer information office instead of people having to go directly to the Consumer Arbitration Board. The previous system meant arbitration was faster, but also that anyone making a complaint had to do so without receiving advice beforehand.

Under the new system there is no longer the obligation to inform the person making the complaint if it has not been processed within three months; proceedings will be shelved instead of declared inadmissible and references to appeals against decisions have also been removed.

The process can be confusing

With these and other changes which may well be confusing for anyone wanting to make an official complaint, the Consumers Union of Malaga has started an information campaign to explain the new form and the process and make people aware of their rights. It is also advising businesses so they know what the regulations say and what their obligations are.

The campaign includes an information leaflet and three short videos, through which people can “quickly and easily” understand the changes to the complaints procedures.