'Forbrukerrådet': What you need to know about Norway's consumer rights watchdog

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected] • 26 Jan, 2023 Updated Thu 26 Jan 2023 13:13 CEST
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If you are unhappy with the quality of a tradesman's work or have received a broken product, you will likely need to contact the consumer council. Pictured is a workman Photo by Callum Hill on Unsplash

If you've paid for something that was broken, didn't live up to expectations or are having issues with a provider of good and services, your first port of call will be the Norwegian Consumer Council


Norway's consumer rights watchdog, the Norwegian Consumer Council (Forbrukerrådet), aims to protect customers in Norway from being taken advantage of and to inform them of their rights. 

The consumer council is a publicly funded but politically independent body where consumers in Norway can lodge complaints and inquiries over products and goods and services to determine their rights and whether they have been violated. 

Last year, problems with energy deals, used cars and renting were some of the most common issues the Norwegian Consumer Council dealt with

In total, the consumer council's guidance service received some 52,000 thousand complaints last year. In addition to offering guidance on consumer rights to the public, they also pressure and lobby the government to formulate consumer-friendly policies. 


The council is also involved with 18 complaint boards to promote the consumer perspective in the proceedings. 

If you feel your consumer rights have been stepped on, the best place to start would be contacting the council to find out if your rights have been infringed. Then, if you decide you want to take your complaint further, they also include info on the next steps. 

While they can tell you whether your rights have a consumer have been infringed, they cannot take complaints directly to the relevant body. So, for example, if you had an issue with your landlord or rental contract, you could seek advice, but you would need to go to the Rent Disputes Committee to resolve the issue

However, the Consumer Council's guidance service can determine whether you have grounds to lodge a formal complaint over work done to your home, purchasing a car, electronics, appliances, furniture, clothing, mechanical services, flights and other goods. 

This means that you wouldn't need to consult, say, a lawyer or legal professional. Additionally, the consumer council has several templates that could save you a lot of time, legwork and money in the long term. 

For example, they offer consumer-friendly contract templates for renting or purchasing goods and services. Alternatively, they also have templates for letters of complaint, which you need to begin the process formally. 

Should you need to take a complaint further, the process will generally take four steps. First is establishing whether you have grounds for a complaint.


After that, you will be required to write a letter of complaint to the provider of the product or service. When you issue the letter, you should attach any other documentation, such as the contract or warranty certificate. You will also need to have a response deadline. The seller, by law, is required to consider your complaint. 

If you paid with a card, you can also issue a card complaint via the bank if the seller still needs to rectify the issue or respond. The bank complaint can only be made when the seller has had sufficient time to respond. 

In the event these options don't work, the Norwegian Consumer Protection Authority can mediate. This can be a long process, though. The consumer council writes on its website that it'll be about eight to ten weeks before you will hear from the protection authority when you submit your case. It will then take four to five months before you are assigned a case manager. 

You can read more about taking the case to the Norwegian Consumer Protection Authority here. You can also visit the sites of several different and more specific complaint boards, such as for bankingnew build housing, energy deals, and more (In Norwegian) here



Frazer Norwell 2023/01/26 13:13

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