Consumer Law in Portugal encapsulates your legal rights when buying any goods or services – whether that happens in a physical shop or online, eating in a restaurant, contracting with a builder, on holiday, or even at a doctor’s or dentist’s surgery. Look around any place you visit – from the Health Centre (Centro de Saúde) to the garage where your car is repaired and even your local café, and you will spot a book or binder known as the ‘Livro de reclamações’ – literally ‘book of reclamations’, but actually the Complaints Book. That’s where you can write about your problem. The manager must read the complaint and post it to the relevant authority within 10 working days. You also should be given a copy of the complaints page you have completed.
Should you find yourself in a situation where you want to register a complaint and the business proprietor refuses you, you are within your right to seek police assistance.
More information can be seen on this link: https://rtic.consumidor.pt/rtic/brochura.pdf
If that doesn’t satisfy you, or if you are in a situation where there is no complaints book, such as dealing with a builder who has done poor quality work or an Internet business that let you down, you could resort to legal action.
There is a very little awareness about consumer rights in Portugal and a considerable amount of confusion concerning consumer protection laws. The sad reality is that many consumers here are not exercising their legal rights. Instead, they shrug their shoulders and accept a bad situation. And that means the vendor or supplier can get away with doing the wrong thing again and again. How does that help anyone?
By law, you have the right as a consumer to receive goods and services that are of merchantable quality according to EU and Portuguese requirements. They must meet the purposes for which they are intended and produce the effects attributed to them, according to legally established standards – or, in the absence of such benchmarks, that are appropriate to your legitimate consumer expectations.
If you find yourself in a situation where you believe you have been sold goods or services that are not what you requested, do not meet their advertised characteristics or claims, or are not of the standards required by law, you should consider taking legal advice or action. In many cases, you may receive compensation for any loss, inconvenience or damage you have suffered.
Each consumer complaint situation is unique, so guidance from a lawyer with experience in Consumer Law is crucial. Please don’t suffer in silence. There is no need for angry confrontations with vendors. Let me help to put matters right for you diplomatically and correctly, and at the same time raise the standards for all consumers here in Portugal.
If you want to know more about consumer rights you can visit this page: