The Ministry of Customs and Trade recently published the Regulation Amending the Consumer Boards Regulation (the "Amending Regulation"), introducing significant procedural changes affecting the consumer complaint process. The Amending Regulation was published in the Official Gazette and entered into force on August 11, 2017.
The amendments to the Consumer Boards Regulation primarily aim to facilitate the procedural steps for consumers who wish to file a complaint with consumer boards. In this context, the Consumer Boards Regulation now requires consumer boards to use the Consumer Information System (“TÜBİS”, tr. Tüketici Bilgi Sistemi) to process consumer complaints and keep TÜBİS records up to date and complete.
The Consumer Boards Regulation now allows consumers to submit their applications to consumer boards through TÜBİS without the need for an electronic or mobile signature.
To expedite the decision making process of the consumer boards, the Consumer Boards Regulation also allows the chair of a consumer board to appoint an expert, whereas previously the appointment of an expert depended on a decision by the entire board. The amendments also prohibit the appointment of a chair, member or reporter of a consumer board as an expert in consumer cases.
The Consumer Board Regulation also explicitly lays down the minimum content that should be included in the consumer board decisions, and states that the decision must unambiguously list the obligations imposed and rights granted by the consumer board, as well as the decisions for each claim.
The amendments to the Consumer Boards Regulation address the problems consumers most frequently experience and introduce changes that will ensure the complaint process runs more smoothly. The easier procedural steps will likely lead to the increase of consumer complaints in the near future.