Consumer Claims Tribunal awarded €371,442
The Consumer Claims Tribunal decided 1294 cases over the past four years amounting to €371,442 in compensation to disgruntled consumers, Minister for Fair Competition, Small Enterprises and Consumer Affairs Jason Azzopardi held this morning.
The Minister explained how since January this year the tribunal decided 260 cases in favour of the consumer, 140 cases in favour of the businessmen whilst in 31 cases an agreement was reached between the parties. Through this year consumers have received €128,949 in compensation. “If one had to take into consideration all claims including those over which an agreement was reached before tribunal stage then the amount of compensation would go up to over €800,000,” Jason Azzopardi said.
Dr Azzopardi stated that the number of claims before the Consumer Affairs Tribunal is on the decrease with currently only 277 cases pending. “Consumers are not fully aware of how to proceed and take matters before the tribunal, some don’t even know that the most expensive registration fee is simply €23.20,” he said.
Present for the press conference was the Chairman of the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority who said that the authority has beefed up the tribunal by doubling the number of arbitrators to 4 in order to better handle the case flow. This has resulted in the backlog of cases dwindling from 600 to less than 277 cases in less than a year.