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Electronic Complaints Book

Popular Actions based on the Electronic Complaints Book

Ius Omnibus identified some companies that did not acquire and do not provide an Electronic Complaints Book to Portuguese consumers, making it impossible for them to file a complaint in accordance with the law. In this way, the knowledge of the complaints of Portuguese consumers by the public supervisory authorities, in order to react and punish infringement, is made very difficult or even impossible. Ultimately, consumer protection is weakened and foreign companies that sell goods or provide online services to Portuguese consumers are allowed to escape the control of the Portuguese authorities.

What is the object of these actions?

These are popular actions in defense of diffuse and/or collective interests, filed by Ius Omnibus (consumer protection association). These actions are based on violations of the Portuguese Legislation on the Electronic Complaints Book, more specifically, Decree-Law No. 156/2005 of September 15 and Ordinance No. 201-A/2017 of June 30.

What do consumers need to do?

Consumers do not have to do anything to be represented. These actions are not aimed at compensating Portuguese consumers, but ensuring that companies fulfil their obligation to make an electronic complaint book available. Any consumer who wishes not to be represented in each of these actions may exercise the right to opt-out, by communicating that intention to the Court. Consumers may also decide to intervene in the cases in support of Ius Omnibus.

What is Ius Omnibus seeking?

Ius Omnibus asks that the Court declare that the company concerned, based in another State, which sells goods or services online to Portuguese consumers, has infringed and continues to infringe its obligation to make an electronic complaints book available to Portuguese consumers. It asks the Defendant be ordered to make available to Portuguese consumers an electronic complaints book within one week of the final judgment, subject to a per diem fine.

Active Cases

Apple

On December 13, 2021, Ius Omnibus filed a popular action in the Lisbon District Court, against Apple Distribution International Limited, requesting provisional measures, in order to defend consumers residing in Portugal who have purchased products or contracted services through digital means, since July 1, 2018.

The 1st Instance Court dismissed this request, saying we could not obtain through a popular action for provisional measures, the same result we wanted through the main action, and that periculum in mora was not shown.

Ius filed an appeal. By judgment of May 24, 2022, the Lisbon Court of Appeal confirmed the view of the 1st instance court, rejecting Ius’s request for provisional measures. However, the Court clarified that Ius’s request (to ensure respect for the Electronic Complaints Book regime) would be admissible in a main popular action. 

The Vice-President of Ius, Victoriano Nazareth, as an individual, filed at the Coimbra District Court a popular action in, acting in defense of consumers’ interests, to force Apple to make an Electronic Complaints Book available.

About Apple:
The Defendant is an Irish company that offers for sale a wide range of products – including iPhones, MacBooks and iPads – namely through digital means, including through its website’s online store

Showroomprivé

On January 25, 2022, Ius Omnibus filed a popular action in the Lisbon District Court, against Showromprivé.com, which aims to defend consumers who have used its digital platform and purchased products since July 1, 2018.

About Showroomprivé: 
Showroomprivé is a French company that operates a private sales website, through which it offers for sale a wide range of products, in particular fashion-related products.

Press:
Expresso (28/01/2022) (in Portuguese)

Airbnb

On January 29, 2022, Ius Omnibus filed a popular action in the Lisbon District Court, against Airbnb Ireland Unlimited Company, which aims to defend consumers residing in Portugal who have contracted services, at least once, through its digital platform, since July 1, 2018.

About Airbnb:
Airbnb is an Irish company that operates an electronic services intermediation platform, through which any user (“Member”) has the option to provide services (the so-called “Hosts”), or to book or purchase services (the so-called “Guests”), including accommodations, activities, excursions and events, and a variety of travel and other services. 

Spartoo

On February 11, 2022, Ius Omnibus filed a popular action in the Lisbon District Court, against Spartoo SAS, which aims to defend consumers residing in Portugal who have used its digital platform and purchased products since July 1, 2018.

About Spartoo:
Spartoo is a French company that operates a website, through which it offers for sale a wide range of products, such as products related to fashion and decoration.

ContextLogic (Wish)

On April 11, 2022, Ius Omnibus filed a popular action in the Coimbra District Court, against ContextLogic B.V., which aims to defend consumers residing in Portugal who have purchased products, at least once, through its digital platform, since July 1, 2018.

In this claim, the Vice-President of Ius, Victoriano Nazareth, acts as an individual claimant alongside Ius, in defence of consumers’ interests, to force ContextLogic B.V. to make an Electronic Complaints Book available.

About ContextLogic:
ContextLogic is an Dutch company that operates an online marketplace, Wish, which allows merchants to set up stores that list and sell products to end users. 

Gamezone (Mega-Mania)

On June 14, 2022, Ius Omnibus filed a popular action in the Coimbra District Court, against Gamezone – Comércio de Videojogos, Unipessoal, Lda., which aims to defend consumers residing in Portugal who have purchased products, at least once, through its digital platform, since July 2018.

In this claim, the Vice-President of Ius, Victoriano Nazareth, acts as an individual claimant alongside Ius, in defence of consumer’s interests, to force Gamezone – Comércio de Videojogos, Unipessoal, Lda. To make an Electronic Complaints Book available.

About Gamezone:
Gamezone is a Portuguese company dedicated to the retail sale of computers and IT products and software, namely through the online shop Mega-Mania.

Infinite Styles (Shein)

On June 14, 2022, Ius Omnibus filed a popular action in the Coimbra District Court, against Infinite Styles Ecommerce Co., Ltd., which aims to defend consumers residing in Portugal who have purchased products, at least once, through its digital platform, since July 2018.

In this claim, the Vice-President of Ius, Victoriano Nazareth, acts as an individual claimant alongside Ius, in defence of consumer’s interests, to force Infinite Styles to make an Electronic Complaints Book available.

About Infinite Styles:
Infinite Styles is an Irish company that presents itself as a provider of the Shein digital platform, offering for sale a wide range of products, for both women and men, such as clothing products, footwear, and accessories.

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