Out-of-court dispute resolution for consumers

Caution

These arrangements apply to all disputes between a business established in Austria and a consumer resident in Austria or another EU/EEA Member State.

General Information

Since 9 January 2016, the Alternative-Streitbeilegung-Gesetz (AStG) has been in force. From that date, consumers in (nearly all) consumer contract disputes with an Austrian business can refer to eight government-recognised dispute resolution bodies (below: 'conciliation services').

These eight bodies offer out-of-court dispute resolution procedures in accordance with the Alternative-Streitbeilegung-Gesetz. This ensures that their procedures are subject to strict statutory quality criteria.

In particular, the out-of-court procedures of a conciliation service are guaranteed to take place:

  • before an impartial and independent arbitrator;
  • as a rule free of charge;
  • promptly (within 90 days); and
  • confidentially.

Participation in the procedure is always voluntary for consumers and, as a rule, also for companies. The aim of a procedure before a conciliation service is amicable resolution of the dispute. The dispute resolution body itself makes no binding award.

Provided the claims are not time-barred, they can be asserted at any time with the ordinary courts . For more information about cilvil proceedings and warranty and consumer protection please visit oesterreich.gv.at.

Tip

For further information about extrajudicial dispute resolution under the Alternative-Streitbeilegung-Gesetz, see the brochure from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Social Affairs 'With each other instead of against each other – the way to conciliationGerman text'.

Government-recognised dispute resolution bodies

Conciliation services must display the following logo. This makes them identifiable to consumers as conciliation services which ensure that disputes are handled fairly, quickly, efficiently and transparently as provided for in the Alternative-Streitbeilegung-Gesetz. Only the following government-recognised conciliation services are allowed to display this logo.

The Conciliation Service of Energie-Control-Austria (E-Control)

E-Control is responsible for disputes between electricity and/or gas customers and electricity and gas companies, e.g. over problems with billing or when switching suppliers, service quality etc. It is not responsible for disputes with district heating utilities.

Website of the Conciliation Service of Energie-Control-AustriaGerman text

Email: schlichtungsstelle@e-control.at

Adress: Rudolfsplatz 13 a, 1010 Vienna

Fax: +43 1 24 724 - 900

Telecom Conciliation Service of Rundfunk und Telekom Regulierungs-GmbH

The Telecom Conciliation Service is responsible when problems arise with a telephone or internet service provider or broadcaster (e.g. cable network operators and pay TV providers). Examples are unclear telephone bills or a telephone or internet connection not being in working order. It is not responsible for disputes over terminal equipment (e.g. a smartphone or receiver), unless there is a contractual relationship with the communication utility.

Website of the Telecom Conciliation Service of Rundfunk und Telekom Regulierungs-GmbHGerman text

Web form of the Telecom Conciliation Service of Rundfunk und Telekom Regulierungs-GmbHGerman text

Adress: Mariahilfer Straße 77-79, 1060 Vienna

Telephone: 0810 511 811 (7.3 cents/minute), Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Fax: +43 1 58 058 94 94

The Post Conciliation Service of Rundfunk und Telekom Regulierungs-GmbH

The Post Conciliation Service is responsible for disputes with a postal service provider, e.g. problems relating to letters, packets, registered letters, service, sending valuables through the post, loss or damage. It is not responsible for problems arising from mail which is not postal consignments as provided for in the Postmarktgesetz (e.g. unaddressed mailshots).

Website of the Post Conciliation Service of Rundfunk und Telekom Regulierungs-GmbHGerman text

Email: poststreitschlichtung@rtr.at

Adress: Mariahilfer Straße 77-79, 1060 Vienna

Telephone: +43 1 580 58 0

Fax: +43 1 580 58 94 94

Passenger Rights Agency (apf)

The Passenger Rights Agency is responsible for disputes with a railway company, bus company, shipping line or airline arising from delays, non-running services or cancellations; in railway travel, these may include disputes over lost or damaged baggage or refunding of lost or unused tickets.

Website of the Passenger Rights AgencyGerman text

Web form of the Passenger Rights AgencyGerman text

Adress: Linke Wienzeile 4/1/6, 1060 Vienna

Telephone: +43 1 5050 707 700

Fax: +43 1 5050 707 180

Joint Conciliation Service of the Austrian Credit Industry (Banking Conciliation Service)

The Banking Conciliation Service is responsible for disputes regarding obligations arising from a banking transaction between a duly licensed credit institution in Austria and a consumer resident in Austria or another EEA state. The service is not responsible for disputes arising from loans in a foreign currency.

Website of the Banking Conciliation ServiceGerman text

Email: office@bankenschlichtung.at

Adress: Wiedner Hauptstraße 63, 1045 Vienna

Telephone: +43 1 505 42 98

Fax: +43 (0) 590 900 - 118 337

Internet Ombudsman

The Internet Ombudsman Association (formerly Internet Ombudsman) is responsible for all disputes arising from contracts entered into via the internet between a business established in Austria and a consumer resident in Austria or another EEA state (e.g. warranty, delay, unjustified credit card debits etc.Note: It is also possible to refer such cases to the Conciliation Service for Consumer Transactions.

Website of the Internet OmbudsmanGerman text

Web form of the Internet OmbudsmanGerman text

Adress: Ungargasse 64-66/3/404, 1030 Vienna

Ombudsman for Prefabricated Homes 

The Ombudsman for Prefabricated Homes is responsible for all questions and issues concerning prefabricated homes.

Website of the Ombudsman for Prefabricated HomesGerman text

Email: ombudsstelle@fertighaus.org

Adress: Österreichischer Fertighausverband – Gonzagagasse 4/3/3, 1010 Vienna

Telephone: +43 1 89 022 99

Conciliation Service for Consumer Transactions

The Conciliation Service for Consumer Transactions is responsible for consumer disputes for which none of the other conciliation bodies on this page is responsible. Its remit includes guarantee and warranty disputes as well as problems with foreign currency loans. Problems with internet transactions can also be referred to the Conciliation Service for Consumer Transactions (in addition to the Internet Ombudsman Association).

The Conciliation Service for Consumer Transactions does not offer legal advice to consumers.

Website of the Conciliation Service for Consumer TransactionsGerman text

Web form of the Conciliation Service for Consumer TransactionsGerman text

Email: office@verbraucherschlichtung.at

Adress: Mariahilfer Straße 103, Stiege 1, Top 18, 1060 Vienna

Further links

Legal jurisdiction (Austria) – European Justice Portal Justizportal (→ EC)

Translated by the European Commission
Last update: 9 November 2021
Responsible for the content:
  • oesterreich.gv.at Editorial Staff
  • Federal Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection