Solutions for consumer advocacy
groups and watchdog organisations…

Your group has a mission, we got your IT and back office

Photo: Victorgrigas, CC BY-SA 3.0

You work for the common good and in the public interest to voice a concern or even hold wrongdoers to justice? Then we have a lot in common, because: so do we. And from years of working in consumer protection as a watchdog agency, we know just as good as you to: workflow and internal organisation is often as big a challenge as fighting our adversaries. A reliable IT backbone and a working back office is a real issue and often it is a great concern for your members and supporters.

Being both a subsidiary to a consumer protection agency/qualified entity under directive 2009/22/EC and a not-for-profit company ourselves, we know the weights you carry and the hurdles you need to jump across every bit as well as you do. After three years, we had a workflow in place that would meet

  • all legal requirements, including GDPR requirements as well as
  • the expectations of your staff and your members or stakeholders
  • while dealing with limited resources of an NGO.

Collective Redress or LegalTech? Either way, you go, we have your back (office)

Most jurisdictions in the EU do offer some sort of collective redress nowadays, but it is still often very difficult (and sometimes risky) to take a case to court even if the case seems crystal clear.

If you need to undertake the enterprise to bring collective redress charges against a company we also have the tools and advice you need to

  • keep a record of the charges and you plaintiffs
  • keep track of the cases
  • keep have an eye on what your lawyers are doing (or don’t do or should rather not be doing).

Or maybe you wonder if LegalTech might be more suitable to solve your task for everyone talks about some magic LegalTech trick nowadays anyway, right? Maybe… and maybe not!

Our experts have been working to design and run trailblazing LegalTech solutions, including one cutting edge compensation solution for air travellers' compensation. Now they work for and with us to provide you with an experts' opinion on which solution will be the right for you and the consumers that entrust you with their rights. Telling which way is the right way is often the chellange nobody sees, before chellange that has all eyes on it. Not to mention the fact that ongoing jurisdiction and policy-making makes collective redress and mass compensation a moving target.

We can offer in-depth advice from a real insider’s perspective. From the legal roadmap via the technical backbone to all administrative processes, they know what’s ahead like the back of our hands not only from the cases our experts handled but also from the cases we turned down.

Solutions that empower your organisation

After a long and sometimes painful period of trial, error and adaption we came up with solutions that exactly fit our needs and that come especially handy when the global pandemic. We took a long way trailblazing so you can have a short cut. We took a long way trailblazing so your work can take a short cut.

Meet…

  • your future server infrastructure that can grow (or shrink) with your demand
  • your private cloud solutions that serves your workgroups and legal teams, that offers a lot more than storage and is there for you, no matter where you are
  • cutting edge paper handling and archiving including OCR not just for the so-called “procedural languages” (Euro-English, German and French), but for all 24 languages of the European Union languages (including most minority languages). So how does a common mail-administrating centre for all your branches sound?.
  • a scalable VPN infrastructure that not only works for the road warrior setup but connects multiple offices. (how does a single common mail-administrating centre for all your branches sound?).
  • VoIP telephone and fax solutions that adapt to your needs as easy as 1-2-3
  • membership administration tools to keep track of all memberships, membership fees and non-monetary contributions, including newsletter and mailing

Going digital with OSS was painful, but paid off in annual cost and became a windfall in the first days of a global pandemic

In the beginning, there was quite a fight within our member base over a software donation we received from Microsoft. Some of our members were not too pleased with it (to put it mildly), while we had been unaware of any issues that might arise from it. But our members were up in arms to teach us a lesson about Open Source Software. A lessen they made us learn well, and eventually, we became converts and after a long and sometimes painful period that included cutting loose from Microsoft and other closed source solutions we came up with solutions that exactly fit our needs and that came especially handy when a global pandemic hit every part of our lives:

Within days all the years of austerity and tons of nerd work, paid off when we had all our staffers on remote within two to three days and all workflows were up and running as usual within a week after lockdown without any two people being in the same office at the same time… ever. And that (belief us) included a ton of postal and paperwork.

For Qualified Entities like you, and like us.

If you happen to be a qualified entity yourself, you probably know this: you have this rather large case and people are pressuring you to take it to court, but you are stuck, because you don’t know how to make your case or even who to ask for advice.

You can sure pick a lawfirm and some tech company to assist you from some list of experts, but you know, they are all making money with enterprises just like the one your are planning to go after. And sure enough they will answer your call and won’t turn you down right away, but, just as surly they will present you a cost estimate or terms of compensation that you can never even dream to be able to compensate and slowly you realise, that this is the way they are saying “no”, without acutally saying “no”. So you feels like you are asking permission from the man to chellange the man.

But even if eventually you find some lawyers that have the right attitude and the right expertise to take the case, you wonder: do they also have the infrastructure it takes to propperly handle the case, so they can really do the heavy lifting.

We know all this, because we walked this very road many times before until we build our own infrastructure to tackle every issue on the way. And we are certain, that we can help you a great deal, because we offer:

  • smart tools for consumers and members to report and document an infringement of the law
  • reporting and tracking tool to not lose a single report or poi
  • annual reporting to your local government authority that gives you an insight into every case you handled or simply create beautiful statistics for a summery.
  • almost all solutions utilize free and open-source software or are compatible with it, so you can say bye-bye to that Microsoft service that - to be honest - you maybe never really trusted in the first place.
  • if you undertake the enterprise to bring charges of collective redress against a company we also have the tools and the expertise you need to
  • keep a record of the charges and your plaintiffs
  • keep track of the cases
  • keep an eye on what your lawyers are doing (or don’t do).

Why not get help in the planning phase already

Our staff of legal and administrative experts are here and happy to help, for we share the common goal with you to improve conditions for consumers and make their voices be heard loud and clear.

Photo (to the right): Rainer Sturm / pixelio.de

Give us a call or send an e-mail

Why not get help in the planning phase already

Deutscher Konsumentenbund gemeinnützige GmbH, Treppenstraße 5, 34117 Kassel
Telefon +49 6154 6039754-0, Telefax +49 6154 6039754-9

vorstand@konsumentenbund.de, www.konsumentenbund.de

Register: Amtsgericht Kassel, HRB 17672
Vorstand: Iwona Szczeblewski, ebenda; Sitz: Kassel

Presserechtliche Verantwortlichkeit: Iwona Szczeblewski, ebenda.