What is a consumer issue?

The Consumer Code of Catalonia (Act 22/2010, of 20 July, on the Consumer Code of Catalonia) talks of consumer issues when the following conditions are met:

  • There is a consumer relationship between the two parties (selling of goods and/or provision of services), in any of the following stages:
    1. Information
    2. Offer
    3. Promotion
    4. Advertising
    5. Marketing
    6. Use
    7. Sale of goods or provision of services
    8. Subsequent obligations
  • The claimant is a natural person (“individual”), a non-profit association or a community of property owners.
  • The claimant acts outside any business or professional activity.
  • The party against which a claim is being made is not a natural person (except for freelancers).

 

The following are consumer issues

  • Utility supplies (water, gas and electricity)
  • Telephone services and internet access
  • Tourist services
  • Restaurant services
  • Transport
  • Home services
  • Insurance
  • Financial services
  • Product purchases or repairs

 

The following are not consumer issues

  • Labour disputes
  • Civil rights
  • Issues concerning relations between communities of property owners
  • Relations with the public authorities
  • When a consumer issue is involved in legal proceedings and/or may become a criminal matter, it cannot be handled by OMIC, as the Consumer Code of Catalonia has no jurisdiction over such cases

 

Practical examples

  1. If I do not agree with a hotel bill or the services provided, that IS a consumer issue.
  2. If I have had my possessions stolen from a hotel room or I have fallen over in the reception area and injured myself, that is NOT a consumer issue.      
  3. If I am a taxi driver and my taxi is not properly repaired, that is NOT a consumer issue, because I am not the end user of this vehicle. If my own personal vehicle is not properly repaired, that IS a consumer issue.
  4. If a company demands payment of a debt and I do not agree with it, that IS a consumer issue, but, if I have already received a legal summons, it is NOT a consumer issue.
  5. If I move out of a rented flat and the owner does not return my deposit, that IS a consumer issue, though NOT every dispute that may arise under a lease is a consumer issue.     
  6. If I have had an accident at work and I have a dispute with the company's insurance, that is NOT a consumer issue.
  7. If I have private healthcare insurance and I have a dispute over it, that IS a consumer issue.
  8. If I do not agree with the gym's invoice, even if it is a municipal gym, that IS a consumer issue, though if I do not agree with the price of a green area parking space, that is NOT a consumer issue.
  9. If I am having building work done on my property and it is not being done correctly, that IS a consumer issue. If the neighbour above plays music too loudly, that is NOT a consumer issue.