Improper charges from banks and finance companies lead the ranking of services with the highest complaint rate in Brazil – Prime Time Zone

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Lawyers advise the consumer to notify the company of what happened; if the problem is not resolved, it is necessary to call the consumer protection agencies or go to court

Brazil AgencyCredit card fraud, purchases made without the customer’s knowledge and undue debts are part of consumer complaints

According to the portal consumidor.gov, charges for non-contracted products and services correspond to 13.97% of complaints. Also at the top of this list are credit card fraud, purchases made without the customer’s knowledge, and undue debits on loan contracts. These are situations that leave many people unsure how to act. The lawyer Durval Andrade went through this situation twice and had to go to court. The first was 10 years ago, involving a telephone operator and had to file a lawsuit. “I questioned. I even used the channels that the operator had, but my justifications were not accepted. So I ended up going to the Judiciary. I filed a lawsuit in the Special Small Claims Court, nor did I use Procon. In the lawsuit, we ended up succeeding and the operator was ordered to pay compensation for having wrongly denied my name”, says Andrade.

This problem was solved, but now, years later, this same company makes calls, sends e-mails charging another debt that does not belong to Durval. Attorney Leandro Nava, a specialist in consumer law, says that the first step is to contact the company to notify the incident. If the problem is not resolved, it is necessary to call the consumer protection agencies. Once all possibilities are discarded, it will be up to the consumer to go to court. “The consumer can file a lawsuit, yes, joining that administrative claim that he made with the company, the administrative claim made with Procon or the Consumer Portal and then file a claim for compensation with the Judiciary. It is not a rule, but unfortunately, it is the position that the Judiciary is following today”, explains Nava.

The compensation to consumers who had problems caused by bank errors can vary from R$3,000 to R$10,000, but there is no set deadline for the progress of the process, which can take from 6 months to 3 years. The consumer can also go to court when companies make abusive charges calling incessantly, which can be moral damages. “The consumer, even being a debtor, can file a lawsuit with the Judiciary asking the company to stop this excess of charges. Up front, during the sentence period, that a request for moral damages be upheld, precisely because of the abuse of this charge”, he adds. The lawyer reinforces the need to notify the company if it is being harassed, so that the establishment is not encouraged to continue with this approach.

*With information from reporter Camila Yunes