27 November 2018
In approximately one year from now, the Consumer Ombudsman will be equipped with more efficient means of intervening in the activities of companies that blatantly violate the Consumer Protection Act. However, many Finnish companies want to do what is right and in the best interests of consumers. In such cases, any shortcomings in marketing or contract terms can be remedied through negotiations, and few cases need to be brought to court. Quicker and stronger means than a slow court hearing are nevertheless needed, states Consumer Ombudsman Katri Väänänen in her editorial.
Finnish Consumer Ombudsman's Newsletter 5/2018 is a Consumer Protection Act 40 Years theme Issue. It includes topics such as:
- 40 benefits of consumer protection. The Consumer Protection Act came into force and the Consumer Ombudsman started working in autumn 1978. In honour of the 40th anniversary of Finnish consumer protection, we listed items where consumer protection has improved the position of consumers or made their everyday lives easier. Many of the things consumers now take for granted have been achieved through consumer protection.
- Consumer protection anniversary celebrated. More than one hundred guests celebrated the 40-year path of the Consumer Protection Act at the House of the Estates in Helsinki on 23 October 2018. The programme of the anniversary seminar was organised by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy and Ministry of Justice. In attendance were a majority of Finland’s past Consumer Ombudsmen, along with past and present enforcers and appliers of Consumer Protection Act .
- Interview with former Consumer Ombudsman Antti Neimala. In his short term as a Consumer Ombudsman in 2018 Antti Neimala, who is currently working at the the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, was able to implement improvements to the enforcement of consumer protection and organisational structure. Also his leadership style was an inspiration to many.
- The marketing and distance selling of magazines intervened. Consumer reports and the Consumer Ombudsman’s own observations have revealed that the marketing of magazines is rife with problems. The Consumer Ombudsman is currently discussing this complex of issues with A-lehdet Oy, Aller Media Oy, Bonnier Publications Oy, Otavamedia Oy and Sanoma Media Finland Oy.
- Expert article by the Consumer Disputes Board. The fragmentary Consumer Protection Act is difficult for dispute resolvers to master. More emphasis and responsibility of dispute resolution should be given to the parties of a dispute and to Consumer Rights Advisors, states Chairman of the Consumer Disputes Board Pauli Ståhlberg in his article.
The previous Finnish Consumer Ombudsman's Newsletters are available at the Archive.
The next newsletter 6/2018 will be published at the end of 2018. It is a Financial Services Theme Issue.