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ISO/COPOLCO proposal for the creation of a standard “Guidelines for identifying and responding to consumers in vulnerable situations”

ISO/COPOLCO proposal for the creation of a standard “Guidelines for identifying and responding to consumers in vulnerable situations”

 

ISO/COPOLCO proposal for the creation of a standard “Guidelines for identifying and responding to consumers in vulnerable situations”

 

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) presents the COPOLCO proposal for the creation of a standard “Guidelines for identifying and responding to consumers in vulnerable situations”. The proposal is to establish a standard that provides specific guidelines for identifying consumers in vulnerable situations and how to develop, implement and maintain policies, procedures and processes to deal with vulnerable consumers taking into consideration the variety of consumers’ needs, abilities and personal circumstances.

 

Within the general concept of “consumers” there is a specific category named vulnerable consumers or consumers in vulnerable situations. Consumer vulnerability is any circumstance that puts consumers at greater risk of detriment when choosing or using products or services. Anyone can be vulnerable at any time due to a variety of factors such as illness, physical or psychological disability, age, trustfulness, education etc. Vulnerability does not in itself always lead to detriment, but if consumer vulnerability is not taken into account by organizations, it can lead to consumers being denied access to a service, being treated unfairly, losing money or suffering a psychological or emotional impact.

 

An international standard would help organizations to minimize consumer detriment by:

  • raising awareness and understanding of consumer vulnerability
  • giving guidance on how to identify consumers in vulnerable circumstances
  • establishing processes and procedures that will help organizations respond to consumers in vulnerable situations in a fair and flexible way.

 

The standard would identify all factors that may contribute to consumer vulnerability, which should be considered at all stages of service provision.

 

In case of national interest, BDS can approve the creation of ISO/TC on “Guidelines for identifying and responding to consumers in vulnerable situations”. If the establishment of ISO/TC is accepted by the national standards bodies – members of ISO, Bulgaria can obtain P- or O-membership in the work of the newly established committee.

 

The national stakeholders can provide their position on the proposal for this new field of ISO technical activity by 26 of April 2017 to Desislava Gulenova, e-mail: desislava.gulenova@bds-bg.org, tel: +359 2 81 74 581.

 

For more information about the proposal see: here

24 Mar 2017