The president of Slovene Consumers' Association is Breda Kutin.
Slovene Consumers' Association (known as ZPS in Slovenia) is an independent, non-profit, internationally recognised non-governmental organization, which has been protecting and representing consumer interests since 1990. Our mission is for consumers to be informed, to be aware of and familiar with their rights and also to assert them, as well as a consumer-friendly society which respects and protects consumer rights. The president of Slovene Consumers' Association is Breda Kutin.
We provide information
A quality source of information accessible to all consumers is provided by our website, where visitors can have a look at a large collection of answers by experts working for the Slovene Consumers' Association, as well as learn about some events of interest, which play a significant role for consumers' informed decision-making.
Another important and indispensible source of information is VIP - our monthly consumer magazine. In nineteen years, which corresponds to the period of the magazine being published on a regular basis, VIP has earned the trust of both consumers as well as the expert public. It is a source of independent information from the field of product and service quality as well as other areas from the field of consumer protection. It provides consumers with results of independent comparative product testing and service analyses, which manufacturers and traders have no influence on.
Each year, we also publish several brochures and are active in cooperating with the media on some important issues from the field of protection of consumer rights and interests. We organize press conferences, provide our opinion and points of view with regard to any important issues which affect the position of consumers in the society and we also commonly assist journalists in their search for answers to the questions on how to assert consumer rights in everyday life.
We provide counselling
If consumers require either advice about their rights with regard to matters relating to contracts with traders or our assistance in resolving disputes with manufacturers, traders, banks or any other product or service providers, they can as members of the Slovene Consumers' Association ask for our help at any time. Our team of legal experts will look into their matter and suggest a suitable solution. The couselling is independent, impartial and confidential. In addition to general counselling on consumer rights we also provide advice on the rights of patients and the system of health insurance, as well as the quality of general consumption goods.
We carry out product testing
The Slovene Consumers' Association is a member of ICRT – International Consumer research & Testing. Products are selected to be tested after a careful examination of the market. They are purchased in stores where ordinary consumers buy them as well. Services are tested anonymously. Service providers or product manufacturers are not aware of the selected products and services and thus exert no influence on testing whatsoever. Products are tested in independent accredited laboratories according to a methodology which has been prepared in advance. Tests carried out by consumer organizations are usually stricter than merely testing the standard and the safety of a certain product, as they also look into how usable, useful and environmentally-friendly it is, as well as other aspects of importance when it comes to the product's everyday use. Results may only be made public in the media published by consumer organizations, which must not contain any advertisements (in Slovenia this is the magazine VIP and the website of the Slovene Consumers' Association www.zps.si).
Companies are only allowed to use the VIP TEST label with those products that have been tested as part of comparative testing carried out by consumer organizations. Our aim with this label is to make it easier for consumers to make purchasing decisions when shopping.
Experts and counsellors working for the Slovene Consumers' Association give lectures at various meetings, seminars and congresses. The Association cooperates with numerous schools and faculties, as well as other educational institutions, associations and chambers, and regularly presents its activities at different kinds of events.
The mission of the Slovene Consumers' Association - as the Slovene national consumer organization -is to represent consumer interests with regard to all important issues which influence the position consumers have in the society. The Association takes part in drafting acts and regulations governing consumer protection-related issues, asserts consumer interests in relation with providers of services and products and in particular with large systems, such as banks, insurance companies, the health care, the municipal infrastructure, etc.
Lawyers working for the Association also represent its members in judicial proceedings, however only when it comes to large numbers of consumers having suffered damages or in those cases when creating case-law is of great significance for resolving similar disputes which occur repeatedly or may cause consumers suffering significant damages (complaints against travel agents, construction companies, banks, etc.).
Based on analysing cases dealt with by counselling offices and the legal office, the Slovene Consumers' Association provides the responsible state authorities with motions for drafting and introducing amendments to consumer protection policies (for passing and making amendments to acts and other regulations).
We are active on the international level
We take part in a number of international projects and committees, we are a member of ICRT – International Consumer research & Testing, an international and non-profit organization, as well as of BEUC, the European Consumers' Organisation, and CI – Consumers International, the world consumer organization.
Together with other European national consumer organizations, we devote a lot of our efforts to issues in the fields of telecommunications, competition protection, nutrition, e-commerce, banking services, patients' rights, internet, making young consumers aware of their rights, etc.