How to complain
Complain to the vendor
Check whether you have valid grounds for making a claim
Who’s liable for the fault?
You may complain if the cause of the fault came with the product. If it’s a manufacturing fault or if you didn’t receive what you paid for, the vendor is obliged to put things right.
If you were aware of the fault at the time of purchase or it was caused by your own actions or an accident, you must foot the bill yourself. You could also check your insurance policies to see whether they cover it.
How do I complain to the vendor?
Put it in writing
Put your complaint in writing and attach the receipt or warranty certificate along with any other relevant paperwork. This reduces the risk of misunderstandings, and you can later prove that you made your claim in good time. Give them a deadline. Feel free to use one of the Consumer Council’s templates (in Norwegian).
The vendor’s obligations!
Must acknowledge your complaint
It’s your legal right to have your claim considered by the vendor, and we recommend that you deal directly with the vendor. You may also submit your claim to the importer or manufacturer. It’s entirely up to you.
Must pay for examination
The vendor may have to make certain enquiries in order to be able to respond to your complaint. If it turns out that you’re liable for the fault yourself, the vendor may charge you for these enquiries but only if you’ve agreed to it in advance. If it transpires that the liability lies with the vendor, you should not pay in any case.
What about things I’ve bought abroad?
EU and Iceland
What are my rights when the vendor decides to repair the product?
Certain items are difficult to do without. In such cases you are entitled to a temporary replacement product from the shop if it doesn’t generate an unreasonable cost to the shop compared with the benefit you gain from it. The replacement doesn’t have to be identical to the original, but it must be possible to use it in more or less the same way. You may ask for a temporary replacement from day one, and you’re entitled to a temporary replacement if it’s clear that the repair will take more than a week. For instance, if you’re refused a temporary replacement mobile despite being entitled to one, you may cancel the entire purchase. This means you return the product you’ve purchased and get your money back.
Complain to the Consumer Council or complaints board
Complaining to the Consumer Council or complaints board
Complaining to the Consumer Council
The Consumer Council is able to mediate both when you’ve bought a product or service from a business and when you’ve bought a product from a private individual. Please use the complaints form below.
Complaining to a complaints board
Norway has a number of complaints boards. If your case is relevant to any of these, you should direct your complaint to the respective board.
Follow the procedure described by the board in question. Vendors are not bound to accept the complaints boards’ decisions, but most of them do. Failing to comply could attract negative attention, and the board’s decision could also be used in a subsequent legal process.
Cases not covered by the Consumer Council or complaints boards
- Complaints about health and social care services should be addressed to the County Governor.
- If you wish to complain about upper secondary or higher education, you should address your complaint to the educational institution in question.
- If you wish to complain about a home you’ve purchased and the vendor has taken out latent defects insurance, you should address your claim to the insurance company. If you fail to reach an agreement, you may complain to the Financial Services Complaints Board. If the vendor does not have latent defects insurance and you fail to reach a settlement between you, you must take the legal route and bring your case before the Conciliation Board (in Norwegian), which is the body of first instance.
- The Consumer Council will not consider complaints over matters relating to prisons, the legal system and basic welfare services such as healthcare, social care and education.
It’s free to have your case heard
Having your case heard by the Consumer Council won’t cost you anything. Most of the complaints boards are also free, although some of them may charge a small fee. We’ve found that problems are usually best solved through mediation without the involvement of a solicitor or other legal professional. If you still wish to take legal advice, you must pay for this yourself – irrespective of the final outcome. Please note that the cost of using a solicitor can often be higher than your actual claim.
Complaining about goods and services purchased abroad
Elsewhere in the world there are significant variations in terms of consumer rights. Go online to find the rules for the country in question.
Complain to the Consumer Disputes Commission
What should I do if the Consumer Council mediation fails to resolve the problem?
What do I have to do before taking my case to the Consumer Disputes Commission?
Your case must first have been submitted to the Consumer Council for mediation. The case must also relate to a professional tradesperson, a product or the cooling-off period.
Do you need help taking your case further?
We can forward your case to the Consumer Disputes Commission (in Norwegian) for you and also help you complete the requisite form if you wish.
What does a decision by the Consumer Disputes Commission entail?
Decisions made by the Consumer Disputes Commission are binding, and final judgements can be enforced by the enforcement authorities. This means that you are more likely to recover any money owed to you, for example.
Bringing your case before the Conciliation Board
The processes adopted by the Consumer Council and the complaints boards are designed to keep conflict levels and resource use to a minimum. However, it’s possible to take your case to court with the Conciliation Board as the body of first instance. Please note that you may then end up having to cover the legal costs. Once the case has been heard by the Consumer Disputes Commission, the next step is the District Court. You should then carefully consider whether it’s worth the expense.