Law No. 31601 was approved because some providers did not set up the appropriate channels in order to address complex customer queries.
For effective compliance with Law No. 31601, which guarantees the right of consumers to have a personal service option, when a company offers any automated response system, the supervisory role of the National Institute for the Defense of Competition and of the Protection of Intellectual Property (Indecopi).
In statements to the Official Gazette El Peruano, the expert lawyer on competition issues Fiorella Zumaeta Castro said that, after the promulgation of the aforementioned law, changes are coming for companies and clients.
The new regulations, she detailed, modifies article 1 of Law No. 29571, Consumer Protection and Defense Code, so that customers receive a more personalized service from companies that provide products or services.
The partner in the Miranda & Amado study recalled that the advancement of technology has caused many companies to diversify their service modalities and use multiple digital tools, including bots with or without artificial intelligence.
Initially, the objective of the implementation of bots (a term that comes from shortening the word robot) was to complement consumer service systems and thus provide 24-hour service, said the specialist.
However, she said, some providers failed to set up the appropriate channels to direct complex queries – which were made to these virtual platforms – to the personnel who can correctly resolve them.
“The bots were created to provide solutions to basic answers, and thus generate more dynamism in the service process. Despite the fact that technology and artificial intelligence is very useful, it did not end up understanding all the problems that the end customer could have ”, she recalled.
Zumaeta also stated that many companies do not have channels that direct more specific and complicated queries. It is these situations that prompted the approval of Law No. 31601, she stated.
Similarly, the expert pointed out that although the rule has good intentions, in some cases it may generate effects opposite to those sought. If the existence of an automated attention channel requires, in return, guaranteeing personalized attention, then the development of technological options will be conditioned, to a large extent, on the availability of human attention, she asserted.
Zumaeta argued that the Consumer Protection and Defense Code already regulated different types of attention and customer complaints, since the obligation of providers was to have simple procedures that allow them to attend to user queries and, in the case of filing of claim, that these do not generate cumbersome procedures that discourage the presentation of complaints.
“What this law did, which modified the list of consumer rights, is to expressly establish that those cases in which providers have these artificial intelligence mechanisms, will not only attend through these platforms, but must also offer alternatively human attention to understand those cases of greater complexity that bots cannot”, he stressed.
The labor lawyer pointed out that “to guarantee effective attention to consumers, not only will a regulatory change suffice, but it will also be important to have constant supervision by Indecopi and that the provision is thus complied with.”
Law No. 31601 incorporates literal l) in numeral 1.1 of article 1 of Law No. 29571, Consumer Protection and Defense Code, which specifies that the latter has “the right to have an option or alternative of personal attention when the provider offers to the public any automated service system assisted by artificial intelligence or digital assistant”.
This right is added to those that were already established, such as having effective protection for products and services that, under normal or foreseeable conditions, represent a risk or danger to life, health and physical integrity.
In addition, to access timely, sufficient, truthful and easily accessible information, relevant to making a decision or making a consumer choice that suits their interests, as well as to make appropriate use or consumption of products or services.
The consumer also has the right to the protection of their economic interests and in particular against abusive clauses, coercive commercial methods, any other similar practice and misleading information about products or services. At the same time, he will receive fair and equitable treatment in all transactions and will not be discriminated against based on origin, race, sex, language, religion, opinion, economic condition or any other nature, he points out.
30 calendar days is the term for providers to attend to the claims of their consumers.
Source: The Peruvian