The Consumer Disputes Commission

The purpose of the Consumer Disputes Commission (FTU) is to provide fast, costless and reliable decisions in consumer disputes. The FTU is an administrative tribunal subordinated the Ministry of Children and Equality.

The Commission was established by the Consumer Dispute Act of  28 April 1978 nr. 18. The FTU handles cases regarding consumer purchases, including cooling off period and credit purchases, and handcraft services. Purchase and erection of new dwellings and handcraft services in relation to such are handled by the Board for Disputes concerning erection and purchase of new dwellings. The Commission also handles disputes between two private parties regarding purchases.

The Commissions members are appointed by the King in Council for a term of four years. The chairmen are required to have a law-degree. The other members have particular insight into the consumerís and traderís interests respectively.


The secretariat to the Commission prepares and administers the cases, and the case handlers write case summaries and make draft decisions before presenting the cases to the Commission. The secretariat also serves documents and decisions to the parties, and informs the parties about how to enforce the decisions.

The procedure at the FTU represents the second of a two-step procedure. The first step consists of an obligatory effort to solve the dispute through mediation by the local offices of the Consumer Council. The plaintiff shall submit a written complaint to the local office in the county of his residence. The Consumer Council shall invite the parties to submit relevant documentation, including obtaining expert opinions in so far as this is necessary. When the subject-matter is sufficiently elucidated, the Consumer Council attempts to find an amicable settlement within the framework of the applicable law, and proposes a solution.

The case is passed on to the secretariat to the Commission if mediation is unsuccessful, and one or both parties submit a petition within a four week deadline from the time the case was closed. The case is scheduled for the first available meeting after the petition. 

The Commission shall consider the case on the basis of the written presentation, and the parties do not attend the meetings. The Commission may obtain supplementary expert opinions, and summon experts to appear at the meetings of the Commission. In practice, however, this warrant is usually not applied by the Commission.

The decisions are then served to the parties. Decisions from the FTU become binding and enforceable four weeks from the time the decision is served, unless one or both parties file a suit to the District Court within the deadline.

Case consideration in the FTU (and the Consumer Council) is free of charge. The consumer may, however, have to cover costs related to procuring expert opinions about the subject-matter. If the report is necessary to resolve the case, the costs can be reimbursed by the opposing party if the consumerís claim is sustained. The decisions are published on the FTUís websites.

Decisions made by the FTU  can neither be appealed to a superior administrative body, nor to the Parliamentary Ombudsman.