DSAI CONSUMER COMPLAINTS
The Direct Selling Association of Ireland (the DSAI) operates a Complaint Service. It is a two-stage service for resolving complaints by consumers against companies which are members of the DSAI. [If your complaint is not as a consumer but in a business capacity, e.g. you are a direct seller complaining about your direct selling company, then the DSAI will handle your complaint under its Non-consumer Complaints Procedure. Details are available from the DSAI.]
Can I use the DSAI Complaint Handling service?
You can use the service if the following four requirements are all satisfied:
Your complaint relates to your dealing as a consumer in the Republic of Ireland or anywhere else. [If your complaint would be more appropriately dealt with by the DSA in another European country, then we might with your agreement refer you to that other DSA.]
Your complaint is against: (i) a member company of the DSAI [A list of members can be seen on the DSAI website:www.dsa.org.uk.] , or (ii) a direct seller of a member company of the DSAI [in which case the complaint is treated as a complaint against the member company].
You have already drawn your complaint to the attention of the company and failed to receive a response with which you are satisfied.
Your complaint does not fall within any of the excluded categories listed below.
The DSAI Complaint Service may decline (either at Stage One or Stage Two) to deal with complaints in any of the following categories.
A complaint where you have not first attempted to contact the DSAI member company in an attempt to get the complaint resolved.
The complaint is frivolous or vexatious.
The complaint is subject to litigation or is being considered (or has previously been considered) by another dispute resolution body or by a court.
Resolution of the complaint would require examination of a lot of evidence or non-documentary evidence or would require oral examination of the parties.
The complaint involves large sums of money, including where the price of the transaction or the amount of alleged loss exceeds €5,000.
How can I submit a complaint to the DSAI Complaint Service?
You must set out your complaint in writing. Please indicate:
(i) what your complaint is;
(ii) the identities of the parties involved;
(iii) if possible, the breach of the law or the code violation which you believe has occured;
(iv) whether your complaint relates to the Republic of Ireland or another country (please specify);
(v) the date of the transaction or events in question and any other relevant dates;
(vi) what response you have received from the DSAI member company;
(vii) the current status of the complaint;
(viii) how you would like to see the complaint resolved or remedied;
Please also include copies of any relevant documents, including any receipt, order form or invoice. You are advised to keep copies of your complaint and of all documents submitted.
You can submit your complaint in either of the following two ways:
Send an email (with or without attachments) to the following email address: [email protected] If you do not get an acknowledgement of this email within two working days, please phone to check that the email has been received:
(00 353) 1 457 7001.
How much will it cost?
Nothing. The Complaint Service is free to the consumer/complainant.
Write to Consumer Complaints, Direct Selling Association of Ireland, PO Box 1682, Northampton, NN1 9NG, UK.
If you have any questions about the DSAI Complaint Service, please either:
email the DSAI at [email protected]
or telephone the DSAI on (00 353) 1431 9809
A consumer may use the Complaint Service without being obliged to use a legal representative. Although the consumer/complainant will normally not have any professional representation, the consumer is nevertheless free to use professional representation, assistance or advice. The consumer/complainant will have to bear the cost (if any) of this. The DSAI Complaint Service does not make any orders for the payment of either side’s costs by the other.
How does it work?
It is a two stage dispute resolution service.
Stage One – seeking an agreed solution
After you have submitted your complaint, the DSAI will, if necessary, seek any clarification from you as to the details of the complaint. It will then refer your complaint to the member company in question. In the vast majority of cases, this will result in a resolution to the complaint being agreed by you and the company. The DSAI allows a period of at least 3 weeks to see if such an agreed resolution can be agreed. If your complaint is one of the few which does not result in an agreed resolution, then, if you wish, the DSAI will refer the complaint to the DSAI’s independent Code Regulator for an adjudication.
Stage Two – adjudication
The way in which the Code Regulator will handle the complaint is set out in the Code Regulator’s Consumer Complaint Procedure. The Code Regulator is an independent legally qualified person appointed by the DSAI for a period of three years or longer (renewable) to adjudicate on complaints, to carry out compliance audits of DSAI members and to advise the DSAI, principally in relation to complaints and compliance. In all other respects the Code Regulator is independent of the direct selling industry.
Other information about the DSAI Complaint Service
European recognition. The DSAI Complaint Service is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). ADR is any method of resolving a consumer dispute without having to start legal proceedings. The DSAI Complaint Service undertakes to comply with the requirements of the EU Directive on ADR, when that Directive is implemented in the Republic of Ireland (expected July 2015). In common with other ADR entities it will be listed on the websites of the relevant competent authority in the Republic of Ireland and the European Commission. Those website addresses will be added to this information when they are available. Lists of ADR entities are available on the following websites:
A complaint against a member company of the Republic of Ireland will be considered, irrespective of the country in which the complaint arose. However, there are DSAs in many countries and, if
it appears appropriate to do so and if you agree, your complaint will be transferred to a DSA in another country or to SELDIA, which is the Federation of European DSAs and is based in Brussels.
Complaints must be received – and will be dealt with – in the English language.
Binding nature of adjudication
By the terms of its membership of the DSAI, each DSAI member company is obliged to comply with adjudications of the Code Regulator. A DSAI member is not free to opt out of or to withdraw
from the complaint handling process. It has never happened that a DSAI company has failed to comply with an adjudication. In the unlikely event that a member company did so, the company would be referred to the DSAI disciplinary committee and, if the member still did not comply, it would almost certainly be expelled from the DSAI. You, the consumer, however are free to abandon the complaint handling process at any time and you are not bound by the Code Regulator’s adjudication and you retain your rights to pursue a claim against the company in the courts.
Length of the procedure
The length of the process is to some extent dependent on how fast the parties respond to the points made by the other side and to queries from the Code Regulator. Most complaints which reach Stage Two will receive an adjudication within two months, often within a month.
Information provided by you in submitting your complaint will be used by the DSAI only in connection with the handling of your complaint and will be communicated by the DSAI only to the DSAI member against whom you have made the complaint and to any other parties to the complaint. The DSAI member will be expected to handle such information with care and to communicate it
within the company and to relevant direct seller(s) but only to the extent that is necessary in order to resolve and/or respond to the complaint. All complaints will be summarised in general terms
(and without identifying individual complainants or companies against which complaints were made) in annual activity reports to the DSAI council and ADR competent authorities and interested consumer bodies.