Consumers who are confronted or have been confronted with an unfair commercial practice, or who believe a professional's conduct constitutes unfair commercial practice, may contact:
- a consumer protection organisation; or
- the competent authorities directly.
Who is concerned
An injunction may be brought by:
- any interested party (a consumer or a competitor of the professional in question); or
- a trade or business association; or
- an organisation defending consumers' collective interests; or
- the Ministry of Consumer Protection where the collective interests of consumers are at stake; or
- the Financial Sector Supervisory Commission (Commission de surveillance du secteur financier – CSSF); or
- the Supervisory Authority for the Insurance Sector (Commissariat aux assurances – CAA).
Natural or legal persons authorised to act must witness the unfair commercial practice or must consider, on the basis of information received, that the professional's conduct constitutes unfair commercial practice.
How to proceed
Filing a complaint
Consumers can contact the following organisations:
- the Ministry of Consumer Protection which has jurisdiction where the collective interests of consumers are at stake;
- the Luxembourg Consumer Association (Union Luxembourgeoise des consommateurs - ULC): has jurisdiction in the event of a problem for a Luxembourg national. It also safeguards consumers' collective interests;
- the Luxembourg economic interest group, the European Consumer Centre (Centre européen des consommateurs - CEC): informs consumers and defends their interests if they have problems with a professional in another Member State of the European Union.
- the Financial Sector Supervisory Commission (Commission de surveillance du secteur financier – CSSF); only has authority if a claim concerns a bank or other business in the financial sector;
- the Supervisory Authority for the Insurance Sector (Commissariat aux assurances – CAA). deals with claims about insurance contracts;
- Luxembourg Regulatory Institute (Institut luxembourgeois de régulation – ILR): authorised to handle disputes relating to gas and electricity supply;
- the Grand Ducal Police: consumers may make a complaint if the actions of the professional are punishable by criminal proceedings (for example, the use of physical violence).
Processing and legal implications of the complaint
The entity hearing the case will analyse the possibility and appropriateness of action by summary procedure (a procedure delivering a quick verdict in urgent cases), first determining whether consumers' collective interests are at stake.
Judges ruling on complaints may order the discontinuation of an unfair commercial practice, even if:
- there is no evidence that a consumer or competitor has suffered any loss;
- no real damage has been suffered by a consumer or a competitor, where the risk of damage is sufficient;
- the professional did not intend to act unfairly;
- the professional was not negligent.
If a contractual clause was entered into as a result of an unfair commercial practice, the consumer may ask the court to nullify the clause. If the consumer proves that this clause was the reason why the contract was signed, the consumer may also ask the court to nullify the entire contract.
Professionals guilty of unfair commercial practice may be fined between EUR 251 and EUR 120,000.
In addition, the consumer may ask for any contractual clause, or any combination of contractual clauses, to be made null and void if the contract in question constitutes an unfair commercial practice.