Sunday, 13 March 2016 21:17

Defending Cyprus’ consumer rights

The Cyprus Consumer Association encourages customers to be aware of their rights The Cyprus Consumer Association encourages customers to be aware of their rights

When money is tight, consumers especially want to be particularly careful about how they spend theirs.

In an interview with the Cyprus Weekly, Fryni Michael, president of the Cyprus Consumer Association (CCA) assures us that the association is ready to give assistance and advice to the public so they can be aware of their rights and be able to ask for their satisfaction as a consumer.

The CCA is an NGO established in 1973 to defend and promote consumers’ interests and rights in Cyprus and deal with various complaints and requests for information.

The organisation employs only two part-time staff members and thus greatly relies on the support of volunteers and membership fees. Its mission is the safeguarding of consumers’ rights, education and representation in all local and international relevant bodies dealing with consumer matters.

The CCA actively campaigns on all issues affecting Cypriot consumers and monitors the effective implementation of legislation regarding consumer protection and consumer rights.

Their website has recently been redesigned and is very comprehensive. It is continuously updated in Greek and English. It features ample information, including the legislations for various areas as well as campaigns and market surveys and the association’s quarterly magazine O Katanalotis (The Consumer).

A consumer’s rights

The eight basic rights of a consumer are based on the Consumer International’s (CI) philosophy and described in detail on the website. They are: a consumer’s right to safety, information, choice, representation, redress, education, satisfaction of basic needs and the right to a clean environment.

“We want to promote public awareness and active citizenship and encou-rage consumers to spend consciously and with respect to the environment, compare prices and quality. (Consu-mers should) buy from those who respect the consumer and avoid those who try to cheat them.

“We ask people to come forward and inform us of any malpractices, and to support our actions for better consumer protection and more respect of consumer rights,” says Fryni Michael.

The CCA runs a number of different educational activities for adults and children and in 1990 established the School of Adult Consumer Education which now operates in Nicosia and Paphos.

Anyone can apply to attend the courses, which are free for members. The weekly lessons run from October to May and are held by professionals from the public and private sector.

Successfully resolved

The list of consumer issues resolved by the CCA is long and includes cases such as the replacement of defective mobile phones, removal of unjustly applied surcharges, the replacement or refunds of defective electrical appliances, sunglasses and agricultural machinery.

The CCA has also negotiated agreements for payments by instalments for increased annual sewerage charges, the withdrawal of a dangerous toy without necessary labelling from the market with the intervention of the Consumer Protection Department of Commerce Office and many more.

Memberships are vital

Authorities still need to become more aware of consumers’ issues and a large consumer association helps with this, explains Michael.
Anyone can become a member and payment is possible online. The annual subscription is €15, a two-year membership is €25 and a three-year membership is €35.

Members are able to contribute to the improvement of market conditions through their decisions as a consumer and to the strengthening of the protection of consumers’ rights by the state.
Currently there are about 4,500 members.

All consumers will receive free advice and information, while CCA members are also entitled to additional mediation.

Volunteer experts needed

“We are also looking for members who may work on specific issues, if they have the knowledge and the expertise,” says Michael.
Volunteers are especially needed in the areas which are being prioritised in 2016: financial issues, including insurance matters; energy, including fuel prices; competition; telecommunications and digital issues; travel; retail prices and alternative dispute resolution.

Contact details

CCA operates a call centre from 9am-3pm, Monday to Thursday and 9am-2pm Fridays.

Their new Cyprus-wide telephone number is 7000 0700. e-mail : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., website:  or

Article as published in The Cyprus Weekly of March 11, 2016 


Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

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