When is it appropriate to contact the Czech Trade Inspection Authority (CTIA) and when is another agency more appropriate?
THE CZECH TRADE INSPECTION AUTHORITY WILL INVESTIGATE A CUSTOMER COMPLAINT WHEN THE VENDOR:
- Does not identify the goods or services offered or charges prices incorrectly;
- Offers unlabelled products (such as textiles, shoes or crystal glass without labelling what the items are made of);
- Offers products without instructions and without guides for proper maintenance, in the Czech language;
- Offers products that seem unsafe;
- Sells fuel, which does not seem to meet the necessary quality;
- Uses unfair trade practices: for example, gives false information about a product or service provided, conceals information that could significantly affect the consumer’s decision – i.e. the consumer purchases a product or service that he/she would not have purchased if he/she had had this information), does take advantage of rights which he/she otherwise could have, etc. Unfair business practice also includes the sale of imitation or counterfeit goods.
- Refuses to issue a proof of purchase with all necessary data;
- Does not inform the consumer about warranty terms;
- Does not issue proof of receipt for a claim, or how the complaint will be resolved;
- Does not resolve the complaint within 30 days, or a longer period if it has been agreed to by both parties; or
- Fails to provide the consumer with assurances that a credit agreement contains all the necessary details and information.
You can find more details on the scope and authority of the Czech Trade Inspection Agency HERE.
If you wish to submit a complaint, suggestion or information to the Czech Trade Inspection Authority, please click HERE.
THE MOST COMMON ISSUES WHICH THE CZECH TRADE INSPECTION AUTHORITY IS NOTAUTHORIZED TO ADDRESS:
- Submissions and questions about the quality of food, agricultural and tobacco products, or unfair business practices during the sale of these items. The correct authority is the Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority.
- Disagreement with the amount billed for electronic communications services (e.g. a claim for a phone bill which the operator refused to resolve). The correct authority to resolve this dispute is the Czech Telecommunication Office.
- Disagreement with how (the content of) a warranty claim is resolved: If the consumer is not satisfied with the settlement of the claim in terms of content, i.e. the dismissal of the complaint or unsatisfactory resolution of the complaint, which was accepted, then this is a civil dispute which can either be decided in court or by an arbitrator selected by the parties involved. In such a case, the Czech Trade Inspection Authority can only influence negotiations if the conflict is as stipulated by Sections 13 and 19 of Act 634/1992 Coll. These Acts regulate the official side of the complaint procedure while the consumer’s material claims must be decided in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Civil Code.
- Signing a contract which contains an arbitration clause: Starting on April 1, 2012 the law states that an arbitration agreement for the settlement of disputes to consumer contracts (i.e. contracts between the consumer and an entrepreneur) must be negotiated separately and cannot be one of the conditions of the main contract, otherwise it is invalid. In these cases an action can be brought before the courts and the fact that such an arbitration agreement is, in fact, invalid can be pointed out.
- Charging exorbitant fees or interest: A dispute with the provider of consumer credit can only be resolved in court or by a financial arbiter or arbitrator (if the arbitration agreement was negotiated properly).
- Disagreement with how living costs are split and billed: A court resolves the proportional costs of thermal energy, heating, hot water, or the cost of water and sewage bills. More information is available on the Public Defender of Rights website.
- Questions relating to the creation and structure of energy prices. The pricing and billing of energy – electricity, gas and heat – come under the jurisdiction of the Energy Regulatory Office and the State Energy Inspection Authority.