According to Ipsos research, at least one negative shopping experience was reported by 29 percent of the respondents so far. In line with EU rules, a new Croatian Central Consumer Portal may provide the answer for consumers to be able to access everything they need to know about their rights.
As Darko Bicak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 25th of November, 2018, a new set of European Union rules will soon be incorporated into domestic consumer protection legislation with the adoption of proposals sent to the Croatian Parliament.
Despite the generally welcome move, practice hasn’t reflected theory so far, and information has shown that consumers tend to find it very hard to deal with the proverbial “forest” of regulations that exist when it comes to consumer rights and protection, and want easier access to information about their rights, as well as clear instructions to find out exactly who to contact when they feel that their rights have been denied, violated, or otherwise infringed upon.
The Ministry of Economy is therefore preparing a unique, Croatian central consumer portal entitled “Everything for Consumers” (Sve za potrošače) which should kick off with work by the end of this year, or just a little later at the very beginning of 2019.
“Our goal is that consumers no longer have to waste their time to first get the information [they need] about which competent body they require, then [spending more time] on just how to get to the [required] information from that body, but instead to have everything they need to know at their disposal – from how the product needs to be labelled in order for them to get all the information they need, and how it’s necessary to point out the retail price to the possibility of the termination of the contract and the return of the goods, to what to pay attention to before they make purchases online,” they state from the Ministry of Economy.
For the launch of the Croatian central consumer portal, inspiration drawn directly from field experience was used, and this year, campaigns across the country were organised, in March, September, and even on this coming Saturday another one will held at Zagreb’s Zrinjevac.
The research conducted into this by the Ipsos agency back in September for the aforementioned Ministry shows how just a very small number of those over the age of 16, a mere 16.7 percent, believe they are somewhat or completely acquainted with their consumer rights. As many of 33.5 percent of consumers are totally unaware of what their rights as consumers are, and at least one negative customer experience was experienced by as many as 29 percent of the respondents, and most of them, as much as 71 percent, had a problem with a purchased product, followed then by public service irregularities (20 percent).
The move on creating the Croatian central consumer portal, and generally on placing greater emphasis and concern on consumer rights has been welcomed by Croatia because it ensures the continued proper functioning of the market, and the customer’s satisfaction is very much in the interest of business people working in this field because transparency and fair rules often work as a trustworthy condition for returns, with re-purchases often then being made.