About the Consumer Disputes Board

The Consumer Disputes Board is a neutral and independent expert body whose members represent consumers and business in a balanced way.

The Consumer Disputes Board is directed by a full-time chairman, Dr Pauli Ståhlberg. The Board's members work part-time. They are appointed by the Ministry of Justice for a five-year term.

Cases are decided by sections or by plenary sessions if they are especially significant. Cases are prepared by staff with legal and product expertise.

The Board's decisions are recommendations and cannot be enforced by coercive measures. Businesses comply with decisions in over 80% of cases, however.

The Board handles cases free of charge. Activities are funded through the state budget. As a rule parties are responsible for covering any costs they may incur, however. These costs are generally much smaller than in legal proceedings. Costs typically arise from telephone calls, mailing letters and copying documents such as bills.

In recent years the handling of cases has taken from six to fourteen months, depending on the nature of the case.