THE city council's Consumer Information Centre (OMIC) last year dealt with 17.4 percent more complaints than 2003, as well as a total of 15'000 requests and suggestions.
Of the total 1'557 complaints that were made last year, most were from consumers who were not content with telephone services, buying and repairing cars, bank services, transport, internet connections, buying and fixing mobile telephones and buying housing.
Half of these complaints have been resolved, said Marina Sans, councillor in charge of health and consumer affairs, yesterday during a press conference. These resolutions were able to be brought about as the Consumer Information Centre held mediation talks with both parties (the claimant and the accused), where they both arrived at a mutual agreement.
These amicable agreements stopped the complaint having to be sent to another public organisation for assessment, which therefore keeps costs down and speeds up the process.
In this way, 586 complaints were resolved last year, 508 had to be forwarded to other consumer organisations, 128 to public associations, 73 were filed and 262 are still being dealt with. On the other hand, during 2004 a total of 59 requests went to arbitration, which is 50 percent more than 2003, said Sans.
According to the reports, the sectors that received most complaints were the telephone services, with 402 complaints, followed by airline transport (85), household repairs (60), house purchases (51), car repairs (39), hotel industry (39) and travel agents (37).
As regards the motives for these complaints, the councillor for health and consumer affairs said that 729 were for service or defective problems, 227 for not fulfilling sale conditions, 52 for prices, 26 for deceptive publicity, 4 for deceptive clauses and 484 for other reasons.
The councillor has therefore asked Palma city council to create a Consumer Arbitration Council of its own to deal with the arbitration requests.