ECC Romania Procedure details which are the competence, case handling periods and possible solutions consumers may obtain.
1. Competence, types of cases, other conditions
ECC Romania, as part of the European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net), can only involve in amicably solving cross-border consumer problems, meaning those case when a Romanian resident consumer buys products/services from a professional based in another EU Member State, apart from Romania, and also those cases when a cosumer resident in another EU Member State buys products/services from a Romanian based professional.
b. Types of cases
ECC Romania can facilitate the amicable solving of cross-border problems between consumers and traders, not when the problem appears between two individuals or two traders.
Consumer is, according Romanian and European legislation, the individual buying products and services for his or his family use.
Any case that does not fulfill the conditions set out in a. and b. will be rejected (ex. the consumer has a problem with a trader based outside EU, except Norway and Iceland, or a Romanian consumer has a problem with a Romanian trader), and the person who sent the complaint will be informed on the motives and on the possibilities he has to solve the case, if applicable, in the periods established in the current procedure.
c. Other conditions
The consumer must contact the trader before sending a complaint to ECC Romania. If this contact does not exist, the case will be only accepted after the consumer proves he sent a complaint to the trader and has not received an answer or the answer he received does not satisfy him.
The consumer must attach to the complaint all proving documents sustaining his request: contract, order, reservation, invoice, payment proof, tickets, the complaint sent to the trader and the correspondece he had with it, if applicable. If the consumer has not attached to the complaint these documents, he will be notified by ECC Romania and the case will be analysed and handled only when the relevant documents are sent.
2. Case handling
ECC-Net activity is based on facilitating an amicable solution with the trader. None of the European Centres in the Network can not control and apply sanctions. Also, none of the European Centres in the Network can not make an evaluation of compensations requested by consumers, as this evaluation is done, normally by courts. In any case the European Consumer Centres can inform consumers on the value of compensations, when these are established by European and national rules or can ask consumers to indicate the amount they request from the trader, according to the damage suffered.
The ECC-Net activity is based on the cooperation of at least two Centres – the Consumer ECC (the Centre from the state where the consumer is resident) and the Trader ECC (the Centre from the state where the trader is based).
As principle, the Consumer ECC receives the case, analyses it and, if all conditions are met, sends it using an online data base to the Trader ECC, who will try finding an amicable solution with the trader.
Any contact and any information to the consumer will be done only by the Consumer ECC, according the periods established through the current procedure. Consumers are asked not to contact the Trader ECC during the procedure.
a. Aknowledgement receipt
The consumer will be informed on the fact his complaint has been received in a period of maximum 2 working days from the moment it reaches ECC Romania.
b. Preliminary evaluation of complaint
In a period of maximum 10 working days from the moment of receival, the consumer will be informed of the result of the preliminary evaluation of the complaint. The preliminary evaluation can lead to one of the following solutions: the case is accepted and handled, the case is rejected motivated or supplementary information/documents are requested.
If the case is accepted the consumer will be informed on the registration number, on his legal rights and also on the procedure.
If supplementary information/documents are requested, the case will only be handled after these are received, in a period of maximum 5 working days. If in a period of 30 calendar days the consumer does not send the requested information/documents, the case will be closed and will be opened only when the information/documents will be sent.
c. Case handling periods
After the case in uploaded in the data base, the Trader ECC has a period of 7 working days to accept it. From the moment the case is accepted, 10 weeks are necessary for finding an amicable solution, the period being recommended by the European Commission. In well justified cases, the period can be prolonged – for ex. when the Trader ECC decides that, based on the discussions with the trader, it can still obtain an amicable solution.
d. Periodical information
The consumer will be informed on the evolution of his case any time new information is available and, no matter the situation, once a a month.
The consumer will be informed on the solution proposed by the Trader ECC in a period of maximum 5 working days.
4. Possible solutions
After the case is evaluated, accepted by the Trader ECC and, if applicable, after the trader is contacted, the Trader ECC can propose one of the following solutions:
- Amicable settlement with the trader.
- Closing of the case as a result of a lack of an answer from the trader or of its refusal to accept a settlement.
- Closing of the case as a result of a lack of a legal base for the consumer’s request.
- Closing the case with no solution and sending it to an ADR body, if it exists in the Trader ECC state.
- Closing the case with no solution and sending it to another body which is competent to intervene, where it exists.
If the case is rejected or closed without a solution the consumer will be informed on the possibilities he has, including European Small Claims Procedure and European Payment Order.