As a citizen, you are also a customer of companies and a service user. You might sometimes feel that you are not dealt with satisfactorily or have doubts about access to and the use of products and services. Consumers' associations (associacions de consumidors) exist to protect citizens' rights and to advise them on consumer issues. Such associations offer services for consumers and users, either as individuals or as groups. They answer queries on relations between companies and users with regard to matters such as:

  • Product prices and service rates.

  • Customer service.

  • Service contract conditions.

  • Post-sales services.

Service and product quality.

They also clarify citizens' doubts on a wide variety of subjects, including gas, water and electricity supplies, housing, telephony, mortgages, travel, health, transport, food safety, etc.
The professional services that consumers' associations offer include:

  • General and specialised information on the rights of consumers and users.

  • Consultancy for association members, consisting of handling claims and complaints on behalf their entire family.

  • Resolving doubts and answering queries on current regulations.

  • Mediation and the preparation of consumer arbitration (arbitratge de consum) proceedings to solve disagreements related to consumption without going to court.

  • Consumption-related studies on products and services of companies and the authorities.

  • Organising consumer information and guidance campaigns.

  • Publishing informative material (journals, leaflets, etc.) on specific topics (health, education, housing, etc.).

  • Arranging activities, talks and courses at which citizens can learn about consumer issues.

It is also possible for non-members to use the legal services offered by consumers' associations. To do so, they must make an appointment and pay a fee.

The interest that consumer issues have generated among associations and the authorities has led to the creation of municipal consumer information bureaux (oficines municipals d'informació al consumidor, OMIC). Such bureaux offer a free, directly accessible service to help consumers and users to protect their rights through prior information and advice, and by providing them with a place where they can make complaints related to consumption.

For further information, see the website of the Catalan Consumers' Union (Unió de Consumidors de Catalunya) at

Information is also available from the website of the Catalan Consumer Agency of the Catalan government (Agència Catalana de Consum de la Generalitat de Catalunya) at