The Consumer Complaint Board has dismissed the class complaint issued by the Consumer Ombudsman against construction company Peab Oy. The class complaint concerned the information provided on the living costs in marketing materials for new buildings.
Peab Oy gave consumers a substantially lower figure for maintenance costs for the townhouse it had built by in Raisio than what the cost was in reality. As a result, the residents' housing costs were greater than they had initially estimated when buying their townhouse homes.
The Consumer Ombudsman felt that Peab Oy had given misleading information on housing costs in its economic plan and requested that the 11 purchasers be given a discount in accordance with the Housing Transactions Act.
In its decision the Consumer Complaint Board found that figures given in economic plans are assessments and should not be held completely binding. The board found that no error such as those defined in the Housing Transactions Act had occurred, and for this reason, it did not recommend that the purchasers receive reimbursement.
Starting in 2007, the Consumer Ombudsman has been able to initiate class complaints for the consideration of the Consumer Complaint Board. Class complaints are intended for situations in which several consumers are engaged in a dispute with the same company in relation to the same matter. If parties cannot come to a mutual agreement, a class complaint is a flexible way to resolve a dispute. The Consumer Ombudsman files one application on behalf of the whole group.