site.btaConsumer Complaints to Ombudsman Accounted for Largest Share in 2022
Consumer complaints accounted for the largest share of all complaints to the Ombudsman in 2022, National Ombudsman Diana Kovacheva said on the morning programme of the Bulgarian National Television. "They account for over 30% of all complaints, traditionally. Among them, complaints about the poor quality of water and its high price rank first. Next come problems with electricity and heat supply," she said.
Consumer complaints are followed by people's socio-economic rights - pensions, social payments, healthcare, disability evaluation by expert medical boards and education, said ombudsman Kovacheva.
"It turned out that it is not enough to change the law to extend disability evaluation. With the possibility to be re-certified, the period is extended even further because more people are taking advantage of their rights," she said. She said the process is slowing down, but has begun - disability pensions are already being paid, but not all people are on the lists yet.
The Ombudsman described 2022 as the year of successful legislative proposals. "Five legislative proposals tabled by the Ombudsman’s Office were adopted in both parliaments in the last year, proposed by me about misdated vignettes, extended disability evaluations, tax breaks and the ban on laughing gas," she said.
The worrying trend is that complaints to the ombudsman are increasing, Kovacheva added. Last year, more than 15,000 written complaints were filed and more than 73,000 people contacted the ombudsman. Recommendations by the Ombudsman increased by nearly 30%.