The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA), the Finnish Commerce Federation and the Federation of Finnish Enterprises will launch the good consumer relationship campaign on 5 September 2019, Finland’s Entrepreneur Day. On that day, SMEs in the commerce sector will be familiarised with the basics of consumer protection. The aim is to strengthen the awareness and skills of the sellers so that they know how to act at different stages of the sales process. All this will lead to a good consumer relationship, which will enhance consumers’ trust in companies.
Both the sellers and the consumers have rights and obligations in the sales process. However, the report on the awareness of consumer protection among business operators and consumers (in Finnish) published by the FCCA in 2018 showed that there are gaps in the knowledge about consumer protection on both sides. There can be uncertainty about such issues as when a product can be returned, how a product defect is compensated for and what the expiry of the warranty period means.
In order to prevent misunderstandings and unnecessary disputes, the FCCA, the Finnish Commerce Federation and the Federation of Finnish Enterprises will disseminate information on the basics of consumer protection to SMEs in the commerce sector in autumn 2019. Sellers are provided with tips, tests and other contents that they can use at different stages of the sales process. The aim is to have a good consumer relationship in which both the sellers and the consumers can use their rights and obligations on an equal basis. For example, sellers do not need to meet the wishes of consumers making unreasonable demands.
“It serves the interests of both consumers and companies if companies are familiar with the basic principles of consumer protection. Complying with consumer protection regulations makes companies more trustworthy in the eyes of the consumers. Observing jointly agreed principles also makes it easier to solve problems,” explains Katri Väänänen, Director of Consumer Division at the FCCA and Finland’s Consumer Ombudsman.
“Finnish consumer protection does not extend to countries outside the EU. In fact, smooth implementation of consumer protection might give Finnish commerce a competitive advantage over e-businesses outside the EU,” says Janne Koivisto, Chief Policy Adviser at the Finnish Commerce Federation.
“Consumer protection legislation is a huge and detailed package. With this campaign, the entrepreneurs and their employees can familiarise themselves with the essentials of the package to ensure a smooth sales process,” says Marjut Viding, Legal Counsel at the Federation of Finnish Enterprises.
The contents of the campaign will be published on the FCCA’s website and the Finnish Commerce Federation and the Federation of Finnish Enterprises will also disseminate them via their own channels. The theme can be followed on Twitter and on Instagram (#kuluttajasuhde).