BERK – Turkish consumer law

Turkish consumer law The following is a reader’s email.”Hi, I hope you do not mind me emailing you, but I saw your piece in Sunday’s Zaman on consumer rights in Turkey.

Until yesterday, when I did a search, I did not know if there were any consumer rights. I have owned a villa in Kalkan since 2009 and from this August live there on a more permanent basis.

About two weeks ago I visited a shop in Kalkan to see if I could order some vertical blinds. I took a drawing of the windows, because they are in a top terrace room, are quite large and have sloping sides to an apex.

The owner of the shop came to the villa to take accurate measurements. He showed me three types of blind, one metal and two PVC.

I chose the lower cost PVC. He said the system had a two-year guarantee.

They had to order the parts from Istanbul and I made my first mistake in paying in full. A week later a person came to install them On completion I checked them out before he rushed off.

There was a problem in that when the cords were pulled to move the blind aside, they did not stay open but slid back down the track! As there are patio doors, this was not acceptable. Subsequent to this I closed the blinds and noticed he had cut the bottoms of the lengths of PVC blind with a pair of scissors but unevenly.

Some were 7 cm from the floor and others 3 cm, and it looked terrible. In fact they should have been about 15 cm from the floor and cut evenly.

Also one of the end pieces of the tracking had been broken during installation. I called the manager and he came and said they would replace that and fit a ‘mechanism’ to stop the blinds sliding down.

However, during the week waiting for the new parts four strips fell off, and this was without any usage. On inspection the plastic fittings had broken and were clearly not strong enough to carry the weight of these quite long lengths of blind.

He came again, and I had a Turkish friend to point out the problem He then said there was no guarantee on the fittings, that it was the wrong type of blind because they were too heavy and I should have chosen the fabric blinds (which were not offered). But I believe he is the professional who should have foreseen these problems and supplied a product fit for purpose.

I wanted the system removed and a refund. What he offered was to replace it with a better system and I would pay the price difference.

Sorry, this is rather involved, but basically I feel he sold me a system which was not fit for purpose. I wondered if there is any consumer protection I can call upon.

Or would this be more trouble than it is worth for the TL 700 cost, and I should just put it down to experience? As I do not speak Turkish, I feel it would either be impossible or expensive to obtain representation. Many thanks in anticipation of your reply.

” Dear reader, often the problem with the resolution of a consumer dispute with representation is that the invoice for representation is likely to be higher than paying for the whole defect and replacing it at your own cost. Considering this fact, a new system for dispute resolution for consumer disputes has been established.

The system has been simplified, and it is very easy to file a case with the relevant department. The matter is that these services are not provided in English, and it will be difficult to find an English-speaking member of staff to help you there in the office.

However, the good thing is that the system is very simple, so it is not a must to retain the services of a lawyer for this kind of dispute. You should be able to ask a Turkish friend to write a short summary of what you have described above and simply ask what you want the company to do for you.

Then this statement is submitted to the consumer court (it is a small arbitration chamber for minor issues). What are your options? You can ask for the replacement of the goods (andor services) or you can ask for a refund.

If either of these is more appropriate for the company, then the company can also ask the chamber to decide on the most feasible way. If the amount of the dispute exceeds a certain amount (I won’t state this amount, as it is changed from time to time) then the matter should be handled in the court of peace, and this requires the services of a lawyerNOTE: Berk ektir is a Turkish lawyer available to answer questions on the legal aspects of living and doing business in Turkey.

Please kindly send inquiries to bcektir@todayszaman.com If a sender’s letter is published, names may be disclosed unless otherwise expressly stated by the sender DISCLAIMER: The information provided here is intended to give basic legal information.

You should get legal assistance from a licensed attorney at law while conducting legal transactions and not rely solely on the information in this column.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman

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