Duty to inform pursuant to § 36 VSBG [Consumer Dispute Resolution Act]

The acceptability of legal advice by appointed external data protection officers without admission as attorneys has always been somewhat contentious. Consultation on structures amenable to data protection provisions is not in question. Notes on the clarification and implementation relating to consumer rights will, however, also be permitted, provided they do not relate to advice on individual cases.

The general note that companies should check whether they are subject to and are implementing the VSBG will probably still be allowed.

  • 36 VSBG requires that a business with a website or GTC should inform the user of the extent to which it will be prepared or obligated to participate in a dispute resolution procedure before a consumer arbitration body, in a clear and easily accessible form. It must also refer to the responsible consumer arbitration body if it has undertaken or is legally obligated to participate in a dispute resolution procedure before such a body. The note must include the address and website of the consumer arbitration body and a statement by the company that it will be prepared to participate in a dispute resolution procedure before said body. If the business has a website, this information must be given on its website. The information must also be included in the General Terms and Conditions, should the business have these. Companies with a staff complement of ten or less on 31 December of the previous year will be excepted from this.

For more information, please refer to:

Consumer arbitration – a company guideline

General consumer arbitration office

Author: Rudi Kramer