Consumer ADR

Apart from litigation in regular courts, you can resolve consumer disputes in front of Court of Honour and Mediation Centre at the Croatian Chamber of Trades & Crafts - if a trader is the member of the CCTC. Such dispute resolution is much faster, less formal and, unlike in regular courts, either free of charge or charged very low fee.

Court of Honour and Mediation Centre are independent bodies that offer alternative (out of court) dispute resolution services for many types of disputes, including consumer disputes.

The two bodies share many important similarities, but there are also a few key differences between them.

Main similarities between the Court and the Centre include:

  • independence from other bodies of the Croatian Chamber of Trades & Crafts
  • impartiality
  • competence
  • full sectoral and geographical coverage
  • the main objective of procedure is reaching a settlement
  • settlement is an enforceable document
  • compliance with the Consumer Alternative Dispute Resolution  Act (Official Gazette 121/16)

                                    

The procedure before both the Court and the Centre is:

  • free of charge or includes a very low fee
  • user – friendly
  • simple
  • less formal
  • confidential
  • much faster than regular courts
  • accessible online

 

Key differences between the Court and the Centre:

 

COURT OF HONOUR MEDIATION CENTRE

 

-procedure is completely voluntary for the consumer and partially voluntary for the trader

 

 

-procedure is completely voluntary for both parties

-procedure starts on the consumer's initiative -both the consumer and trader can initiate the procedure

 

-the Court seeks to identify interests of the parties first – if that is not possible, the Court seeks to establish liability

 

 

-the Centre seeks to identify interests of the parties during the whole duration of the mediation procedure

 

-possible outcomes of the procedure:

  • a settlement
  • verdict/decision which can include the following reprimands: warning, a public warning, publishing the verdict on the web and the newsletter of the CCTC, ban on performing business activities and ex lege cessation of the trader's business

 

 

-possible outcomes of the procedure:

  • a settlement
  • termination of the procedure; either by the parties' volition or by the Centre's decision

 

-decision on liability is reached by a tripartite body (legal expert, trader representative, consumer representative)

 

-a settlement is reached by the parties themselves with the help of an impartial, third person – the mediator, whom the parties choose by mutual agreement – from the Centres' List of Mediators 

 

 

If you're not certain which body (Court of Honour or Mediation Centre) is more suitable for resolving your consumer dispute, you can contact the Secretariat at sud-casti@hok.hr or mirenje@hok.hr or call 003851 4806 618 or 003851 4806 617.

  

Court of Honour of the CCTC

 

Court of Honour of the Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts resolves consumer and other civil disputes.

In accordance with the provisions of the Rules of the Court of Honour of the Croatian Chamber of Trades & Crafts (Official Gazette 22/17), a complaint may be submitted:

1.Only against duly registered tradesmen/craftsmen (or other members of the CCTC) – you may visit the online Central Trades & Crafts Registry at http://or.minpo.hr/ to check the trader or craftsman's status. You can also contact the CCTC at 003851 4806 666 or hok@hok.hr.

2. Within one year from the date upon which the consumer submitted the complaint to the trader.

3. Complaint should consist of:

a) a statement to be submitted to the Court of Honour of the CCTC

b) information on plaintiff: name, last name, company name, address, phone.

c) information on complainant: name, last name, address, phone

d) a brief description of the violation for which the complaint is submitted

e) the time when the violation has occured: month and year

f) date of submitting a written complaint to the trader

g) a complainant's request for the peaceful settlement of the dispute

4. As evidence for the claims made in the complaint, complainant must also submit:

a) written complaint to the trader, trader's response to the complaint, contracts, invoices, bills, receipts, offers, etc.

b) information on witnesses (name, last name, address, phone) who can confirm the complainant's claims if there is no other evidence

c) information on whether in order to resolve the dispute, proceedings before a regular court or another ADR body have been initiated, or a regular court or another ADR body reached a decision.

5.  Complaint and all attachments must be submitted in at least two copies and must be signed by the complainant.

6.  The complaint can be submitted by post to the address of  the Court, emailed to sud-casti@hok.hr or delivered personally.

Complaint to the Court can be submitted through the EU ODR platform as well. 

 

Proceedings before the Court of Honour

Proceedings are conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Rules of the Court of Honour of the CCTC, and are divided into three phases: the preliminary mediation proceedings, proceedings before the Court council of the first instance, and the appeal proceedings before the Court council of the second instance.

Participation in the first phase of the procedure (preliminary mediation proceedings) is voluntary for both the trader and the consumer, while participation in the next two phases is voluntary only for the consumer.

The trader has an obligation to participate in the second and third phase of proceedings if he was duly notified about it by the Court. If he fails to attend, the Court holds the right to reach a decision without his presence.

Parties in the proceedings do not pay court fees and are not obliged to use a lawyerunless they choose to.If  deemed necessary, the cost of expert evaluation is covered by the party that requests it.

The measures that the Court may impose are determined by the Rules of the Court and range from a warning to the proposal of withdrawal of crafts license.

Mediation Centre

at the Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts

 

Mediation Centre at the Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts resolves consumer and other civil disputes.

If you wish to solve your consumer dispute by mediation, first you need to fill out and submit a mediation proposal to the Centre. The Mediation Centre will then contact the counterparty – the procedure can start if the counterparty accepts the proposal.

In accordance with the provisions of the Rules of the Mediation Centre at the  Croatian Chamber of Trades & Crafts (Official Gazette 22/17), a mediation proposal may be submitted:

1.Only against duly registered tradesmen/craftsmen (or other members of the CCTC) – you may visit the online Central Trades & Crafts Registry at http://or.minpo.hr/ to check the trader or craftsman's status. You can also contact the CCTC at 003851 4806 666 or hok@hok.hr. A trader can also submit a proposal against a consumer.

2. Within one year from the date upon which the consumer submitted the complaint to the trader.

3. A proposal should consist of:

a) information on mediation proponent: name, address, phone/fax/email

b) information on the counterparty: name, address, phone/fax/email

c) information on legal representation: name, address, phone/fax/email

d) a short description of the dispute

e) information on whether in order to resolve the dispute, proceedings before a regular court or another ADR body have been initiated, or a regular court or another ADR body reached a decision.

f) the value of the dispute

g) the date of submitting a written complaint to the trader

4. As evidence for the claims made in the proposal, the proponent can also submit:

a) a written complaint to the trader, trader's response to the complaint, contracts, invoices, bills, receipts, offers, etc.

b) information on witnesses (name, last name, address, phone) who can confirm the proponents' claims if there is no other evidence

c) information on whether in order to resolve the dispute, proceedings before a regular court or another ADR body have been initiated, or a regular court or another ADR body reached a decision.

5.  Mediation proposal and all attachments must be submitted in at least two copies and must be signed by the mediation proponent.

6.  The proposal can be submitted by post to the address of  the Centre, emailed to mirenje@hok.hr or delivered personally.

Proposal to the Centre can be submitted through the EU ODR platform as well. 

PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE MEDIATION CENTRE – MAIN CHARACTERISTICS:

  • reducing costs
  • consumer and trader collaboration continues
  • speeding up the process
  • settlement is confidential
  • both parties are satisfied
  • informality of the proceedings
  • control over the proceedings
  • creative solutions

Unlike the procedure before the Court of Honour, where only the first phase is voluntary for both parties, the mediation procedure is completely voluntary from start to finish, which means the procedure won't be held without the consent of both the consumer and trader. Furthermore, either party can withdraw from the procedure at any time without any legal consequences, which is one of the defining characteristics of mediation.

Mediation is also a confidential form of dispute resolution in which an impartial third person, the mediator, mediates between the parties with a goal of finding mutually acceptable solution. Procedure ends with a settlement or termination, either by the will of the parties or by the decision of the mediator.

LITIGATION VS. MEDIATION – A COMPARISON:

IMPACT ON COSTS:

Litigation: hundreds of thousands of kunas (HRK)

Mediation in consumer disputes: free of charge or charged a very low fee

LENGHT OF THE COURT PROCEEDINGS

Litigation: years

Mediation: days

 

CONFIDENTIALITY

Litigation: court decision is public

Mediation: settlement is private

 

SATISFACTION

Litigation: one party wins, other party loses

Mediation: both parties win

 

CONTINUATION OF CONSUMER AND TRADER COOPERATION

Litigation: No further cooperation

Mediation: Cooperation continues

 

INFORMALITY

Litigation: strictly prescribed rules

Mediation: parties set the rules

 

CONTROL OVER PROCEEDINGS

Litigation: judge and lawyers

Mediation: parties

 

CREATIVE SOLUTIONS

Litigation: decision of the court is based on legislation

Mediation: parties come together to solutions based on their interests

Mediation allows creative solutions, customer's satisfaction with the settlement, and continuation of cooperation between parties

Courts resolve disputes by judging on the basis of legislation and generally do not engage in the identification of real interests in the outcome of the dispute.

In most disputes in front of regular Courts, the real interest always remains in the background behind the legal positions that are evaluated by the court, and defended by lawyers.

Unlike litigation, mediation puts the interests of the parties before their legal positions, and therefore mediation solves the dispute in a way that both parties win. Even though all disputes are not suitable for mediation (evaluated by the representative of the Centre and the mediator), most disputes can be resolved by this procedure.

 

CONTACT INFO OF THE CCTC ADR BODIES:

COURT OF HONOUR

OF THE CROATIAN CHAMBER OF TRADES AND CRAFTS

Ilica 49/II, 10 000 Zagreb, Croatia

Telephone: 003851 4806 617, 4806 618

Telefax: 003851 4806 629

Email: sud-casti@hok.hr

Web: www.hok.hr

 

MEDIATION CENTRE

AT THE CROATIAN CHAMBER OF TRADES AND CRAFTS

Ilica 49/II, 10 000 Zagreb, Croatia

Telephone: 003851 4806 617, 4806 618

Telefax: 003851 4806 629

Email: mirenje@hok.hr

Web: www.hok.hr

Court of Honour - Complaint form   (vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document, 13,13 kB)

Mediation Centre - Mediation proposal form   (vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document, 12,90 kB)