Consumer protection is the provision and promotion of consumer rights. As consumers are considered to be the weaker party on the market, their interests are protected both by law and in practice, in particular through consumer information and education and consumer advice.
An important part of consumer protection are consumer organisations established by the consumers themselves in order to make it easier to protect and exercise their rights. Consumer organisations that are registered as societies or institutes or other organisations that do not perform profit‑generating activities are entered in the register of consumer organisations held by the ministry responsible for the economy.
Consumer organisations are:
The Government of the Republic of Slovenia awards the public service concession for the comparative assessments of goods and services and the public service concession for the provision of information and education to consumers. Both public services are co-financed by the Ministry of the Economy, Tourism and Sport.
The public service concession for the provision of information and education to consumers was awarded to the Slovenian Consumers' Association on 8 November 2018. The public service includes the implementation of activities related to consumer information and education with the view to ensure greater consumer protection and a greater selection, accessibility and higher quality of goods and services, as well as to inform consumers on exercising their rights.
The public service concession for the comparative assessments of goods and services was awarded to the International Consumer Research Institute on 11 July 2018. The public service includes comparative assessments performed by testing and quality assessment of goods and services that involve an analysis of individual characteristics of goods and services, categorising them into classes with different scores. The public service must also ensure that the consumers are informed about the results of the comparative assessment.
Inspection bodies from various fields ensure the upholding of consumer rights by supervising the operation of undertakings and entrepreneurs. In the event of an infringement, the inspection bodies can issue a decision in an administrative procedure with which they order the undertaking to eliminate the irregularities or prohibit it from selling, providing services or advertising. If no dispute over the existence of a material defect exists between the consumer and the undertaking, the inspection body can order the undertaking to comply with the consumer's request. Furthermore, in a minor offence procedure, the inspection body can impose a fine on the infringer for the offense committed.
If the consumer is not satisfied with the decision issued in the administrative procedure at first instance, they can file a legal remedy against the decision that is listed in the instruction on legal remedies at the bottom of the decision. With the instruction on legal remedies, the consumer is informed of whether they can file a complaint against the decision or initiate an administrative dispute or some other procedure in the courts.
To enforce their claim, the consumer can also choose:
- an out-of-court resolution of consumer disputes in which a consumer and trader are free to decide whether to participate in the procedure or not;
- judicial channels.