Complaints book: Digital format becomes mandatory as of July 1

Complaints book: Digital format becomes mandatory as of July 1

The electronic complaints book, available from 1 July 2017 only for essential public services, has become mandatory for other economic activities since Sunday, July 1, 2018. Know the new rules, according to the Directorate General of Consumer.

The electronic complaints book is for whom?

The electronic complaints book is addressed to consumers and users, Portuguese and foreign, with an English version on the platform

If I have the physical complaints book, am I required to receive complaints through the electronic complaints book?

Yes, both book formats are required.

Am I required to inform the consumer that there is a possibility of making the complaint through the platform?

The service provider / supplier of goods is legally obliged to inform the consumer / user of the existence of the electronic format of the complaints book, and must disclose on the website in a visible and prominent place the access to the platform

Am I required to have a website to make this disclosure?

The new legal regime of the complaints book does not oblige service providers to have Internet sites, simply for the purpose of receiving the complaints presented on the platform the existence of a proper e-mail address.

I have a website. Can I also have a complaint form other than platform access?

The service provider / supplier of goods may have its own complaint channels, which should have a distinct appearance, and not be confused with the electronic complaints book.

Is the economic operator obliged to make the complaint book available in electronic form at your establishment?

The diploma does not oblige the service provider to make access to the complaints book in electronic form available in your establishment.

How do I get the copy submission submitted through the platform?

At the time the consumer submits a complaint through the electronic complaints book platform, the complaint is automatically sent to your email address and to the address of the competent authority.

How long do I have to respond to the consumer who submitted the complaint on the platform?

The service provider / supplier of goods must respond to the consumer / users’ complaint within 15 working days of receiving it.

Where can I get the electronic complaints book?

The electronic complaints book can be purchased from the National Press House of the Currency, having four dimensions, 25, 250, 500 and 1500 complaint sheets written in Portuguese and English.

How much will the electronic complaints book be available for most sectors?

As of July 1, 2018, mandatory will be extended to other economic sectors:

Economic operators carrying out activities supervised by ASAE
In view of the diversity of sectors and the heterogeneity of the companies involved, and in order to ensure the correct connection and adaptation of economic operators to the electronic complaints book, guaranteeing the safety and effectiveness of this project, the process of adhesion and accreditation in the platform for operators economic activities that are supervised by the ASAE – Food and Economic Security Authority will run for an extended period, beginning on July 1, 2018 and ending on July 1, 2019.

Economic operators carrying out regulated activities or activities supervised by another entity other than ASAE
The activities and respective economic operators will be integrated in this project, according to a schedule agreed with the respective Regulatory Entity / Supervisory Entity.

There will be, alternatively, two integration models for regulated economic operators:

An automatic mechanism based on a standard webservices model, dedicated to economic operators who already have their own systems for handling complaints or
A generic backoffice workflow that can be used by economic operators who do not have their own complaint management systems or who have more limited computing capabilities or simply prefer this option.
Economic operators should contact their regulator or supervisory body directly for more information.

What are the amounts of the fines imposed on the misconduct arising from the non-compliance with the rules set forth in the Decree-Law for the complaints book in electronic format?

The fines vary from EUR 150 to EUR 15000 depending on the offense concerned and whether it is carried out by a natural or legal person, and negligence is also punishable.