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Posted by portugalpress on May 03, 2018

Ask Afpop
In this new monthly column, afpop, Portugal’s largest foreign residents’ association, aims to answer some of the most frequently-asked questions by members.

Question: Is there a time limit for making a complaint in the Complaints Book. I recently felt awkward asking for it in a very busy shop.

How long can I leave it before I make the complaint?

afpop’s answer: Your right to complain doesn’t end when you leave a shop or other establishment. There may be a time limit on complaints in certain circumstances, such as if any returns period has expired, but you can complain about the service you experienced or the conditions you experienced at any time. Many people might in fact want to reflect on the situation before making a complaint.

In fact, there has been a recent initiative in the complaints procedure for using the Livro de Reclamações (Complaints Book) which will come into effect on July 1 (Decree-Law 74/2017). From this date, essential public service providers (water, electricity, natural gas, electronic communications, postal services, wastewater collection, etc) will be obliged to make their Complaints Book available, in an electronic format, through access to the Digital Complaints Platform ‘Portal das Reclamações’.

The digital platform can be accessed at or by the Portals of the Consumer ( and the Citizen (, where the consumer can:

■ Ask questions and ask for information
■ Access practical information about the complaints procedure (FAQ)
■ File your complaint

It is important to note that the paper Complaints Book must also be available and a complaint filed in the Electronic Complaint Book has the same validity as those filed in the paper version.

The business must maintain a properly organised archive of the original documents and proof of their consignment in electronic form for a period of three years, or it will incur a penalty.

The paper version of the Livro de Reclamações is also required by non-profit associations that carry out activities identical to those of the businesses that fulfil the same function.

With regard to complaints regarding veterinary services, ASAE is the entity responsible for the application of fines and ancillary sanctions in the proceedings against veterinary medical centres.

Suggestions and complaints of the public sector, GNR, Câmaras, etc, can also be made in the Livro Amarelo (Yellow Book).

Remember a complaint can be submitted in either Portuguese or English.

On a more positive note, your readers may not be aware of the existence of the Livro de Elogios (Book of Praise), which some establishments carry.

afpop is the largest foreign residents’ association in Portugal with over 6,000 active members and is a non-profit association. The benefits of membership include information and support on any subject affecting property owners or foreigners living in Portugal, together with savings in many areas of every day expenditure in Portugal through their ADvantage Directory. afpop also arranges regular social events for its members across the region.

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