Consumers in BiH complain the most about utility and telecommunication services

MOSTAR, July 8 (FENA) – In the first six months of this year, the Institution of Ombudsman for Consumer Protection in Bosnia and Herzegovina received over 600 consumer complaints, which mainly relate to utility and telecommunication services as well as consumer goods services.

These three sectors account for approx. 90 percent of complaints are in equal proportions, Saša Marić, the ombudsman for consumer protection in BiH, assessed in an interview with, adding that the remaining 10 percent of complaints refer to the tourism sector (mainly airline tickets or hotel arrangements), the financial sector (banks).

Asked whether citizens complain about prices and false discounts, he says that the number of such complaints is less than 1 percent of the total received.

The number of such complaints has been in a slight decline over the last few years because, in addition to complaints, as the ombudsman says, the Institution also receives comments from consumers who point out that, unlike in previous years, lately, as a rule, it happens to them that when there is a price difference shelf/checkout, traders usually apply a cheaper price to the consumer and apologize for the resulting omissions.

“Since the Institution of the Ombudsman has for the fourth year in cooperation with the media carried out a campaign to spread consumer awareness and choose reliable retailers, it is assumed that retailers also notice the effects of retaining consumers with a correct and benevolent approach,” Matić points out.

As for complaints about the quality of goods, the ombudsman for consumer protection points out that complaints vary, from “valid” ones where there is poor quality of expensive products, but also those complaints where consumers complain about the quality of products that were purchased below any market price, where they agreed to certain compromises, thinking that they would do better (e.g. buying branded mobile phones at significantly cheaper prices intended for markets outside Europe).

Marić also referred to shrinkflation and skimpflation, terms that mean a reduction in product weight with the same or higher prices, i.e. reducing the quality of the product, while maintaining the price.

Regarding complaints related to shrinkflation and skimpflation, consumers in BiH submitted less than 20 complaints (approx. 1%). In the case of shrinkflation, the complaints refer to findings of reduced weight of products that have been used for years, and in the case of skimpflation, they refer to the telecommunications and tourism sectors (air transport and reduction of the offer within the prices of airline tickets), noted the ombudsman.

As long as the new weights and product declarations are displayed on the packaging, both concepts are legal and legally permitted, Marić emphasizes.

It is also noted that if consumers notice that certain products have different weights than declared, they have the right to complain to the Consumer Protection Ombudsman Institution as well as entity and cantonal inspections.

Last year, the institution of the Ombudsman for consumer protection in Bosnia and Herzegovina received a record 1,400 complaints.