As each year, the Israel Consumer Council presents the annual report for small claims it has assisted to formulate. In the framework of this activity, in 2014, the Israel Consumer Council has assisted consumers in the formulation of 574 small claims. During the period covered by this report, 96% of the cases have been satisfactory to the customers, either through agreed upon settlements by the parties in order to reach compromises or through final court decisions. This represents an increase of 2% of success in claims formulated with the assistance of the Consumer Council and completed to date, compared with 2013.
In the framework of the project, when a complaint has been sent to the Council after having been rejected by a business, the possibility is examined to formulate the statement of the claim in small claims court for the consumer, in order to facilitate and help him cope with the legal procedures against the business that has deprived him of his rights. In the past two years, this service was provided to hundreds and hundreds of consumers for free and with great success.
According to the report, through the service of claims formulation provided by the Consumer Council in 2014, a total amount of 1,556,320 NIS has been returned to consumers in 2014, which is an average of 3,176 NIS per consumer.
In 34% of the grounds for the formulation of the claims formulated by the Consumer Council in 2014, consumers complained about defective products and / or about unfit products. The main contribution to this ground is claims in the field of furniture.
Most of the claims formulated by the Consumer Council (almost 50%) are related to home-furniture, since defects in products or the fact that products did not meet their demands appear in many consumer complaints.
The above-mentioned data also shows that, in comparison with last year, there has been a significant increase (over 200 per cent), of the use of claim of "deception" as the reason for the claim as set out in the Consumer Council.
Consumer fraud constitutes a major source of injustice and violation of the consumer protection law, targeted by government agencies in charge of enforcing consumer protection laws in Israel as a major field of eradication. Accordingly, this year, there has been an increase in the value of administrative fines the Consumer Protection and Fair Trade Authority can impose upon businesses due to consumer fraud.
The Consumer Council aims to struggle against lack of due diligence with regard to the provision of information to the consumers.
Israel Consumer Council CEO, Lawyer Mr. Ehud Peleg, says that the service provided by the Council to the consumers helps each single consumer to get back what he is entitled to. Adv. Peleg: "The ultimate goal in the provision of this service is to assist consumers to stand up for their rights in a way that also reinforces the provisions of consumer protection laws from businesses. This way, the consumers will also take an active part in reducing consumer phenomena affecting them, and will help producing a fair consumer culture and commerce".