Government launches website for consumers to complain about companies

Consumer Complaints The Brazilian federal government will launch this Friday, the 27th, a website for consumers to virtually register complaints. Companies will have ten calendar days to respond to complaints.

A test version of the site is already online. The free service will initially be available to consumers in the following states: Acre, Amazonas, Espírito Santo, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Paraná, Pernambuco, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo and the Federal District and until September 2014, the service will be extended to the whole country.

The idea, according to the Ministry of Justice, is to seek solutions for consumer disputes that were not resolved by the service channels of the companies.

Complaints will be seen by other consumers

To file a complaint, the consumer needs first to fill out a registration form with personal data. Then he must enter the name of the company against which they want to register a complaint (if you can not find the company on the site, it may suggest its inclusion).

One can also send attachments, such as documents or images, which show the problem. The complaint should be public, ie, can be seen by anyone accessing the site. The personal data of the consumer, however, will not be shown. The site will mediate consumer communication with the companies that will have ten calendar days to submit a response. Who made the complaint may then say that the response has met their expectations or not.

The fact that a company will not respond or resolve a consumer problem should not result in a fine or other direct measure of the Ministry of Justice. The records of the site, however, may serve as a basis for measures to be taken by the agency to curb abuses against consumers.

Corporate performance will be measured by indicators

The Ministry of Justice will also promote indicators based on the complaints registered on the site. The corporate performance will be rated according to levels of problem solving and customer satisfaction, among other criteria.

Telephony and banks are champions in complaints

The telecommunications and financial services in Brazil are the main targets of consumer complaints in the country. Of the total amount of complaints last year at the PROCONS (foundations present in several Brazilian states and municipalities with legal personality under public law whose purpose is to develop and implement state policy and consumer protection), six in ten were related to mobile, fixed telephony, handset manufacturers, banks, financial and credit card companies.

Still appears in the list of most complaints is the health sector, with complaints about health plans, medical and dental coverage, hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, medicines. The supermarket industry completes the list of the most criticized.

Most complained areas have in common the fact that they are regulated by a government agency – such as telephony, with Anatel (Agência Nacional de Telecomunicações – National Telecommunications Agency), or health, with the ANS (Agência Nacional de Saúde – National Health Agency) – that rather than regulating the industry, protect these companies and see Brazilian consumers as mere users of these services.

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Max Francisco
Max Francisco has been involved with the Internet in Brazil and has been doing digital projects in the country for the last 15 years.

Published by Max Francisco

Max Francisco has been involved with the Internet in Brazil and has been doing digital projects in the country for the last 15 years.