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(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
The public may soon be entitled to sue for up to NIS 10,000 in compensation under a new law proposal, if their consumer protection rights have been violated.
"The law proposal will be another weapon in the hands of the consumer in order to protect and defend his rights," attorney Yaron Levinson of the Consumer Protection Authority at the Histadrut told The Jerusalem Post.
According to the bill proposal initiated by Eli Yishai, Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor, consumers will be able to go to court and sue for compensation without having to prove the extent of the damage caused because of the violation. As such, the court will not take into account the extent of the damage caused when ruling on the extent of consumer compensation.
"Many consumers will not go to court for a missing button as it often will not be worthwhile financially or otherwise," said Levinson. "But higher compensation prospects, which are not measured by the damage caused to the consumer, will motivate the consumer to file legal claims for compensation and thus increase the number of legal consumer compensation court cases."
Legal claims for compensation include violation cases with regard to, for example, cancellations of vacations or consumer rights regarding return policies.
The bill proposal was initiated to act as a deterrent and hazard for violators of consumer protection regulations and in an effort to better enforce the existing consumer regulations. The proposal has already received approval from the Ministers Committee for legislation matters but still awaits approval by the Knesset.
Among the consumer protection initiatives implemented recently are regulations for warranties and services that would force manufacturers and suppliers of new electronics and electric and gas appliances and products to provide a one-year warranty certificate for each of their products priced at a minimum of NIS 150 and plans for a new authority to improve enforcement of criminal proceedings of the Consumer Protection Law.