A Near Miss

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fraggle092
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A Near Miss

Post by fraggle092 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:12 pm

The longer one lives in Chile, the more one gets affected by the dismal bureaucratic underworld that impacts everyone's life here whether they realize it or not. Mario Vargas Llosa once said that inside every Chilean there was a policeman trying to get out. I would slightly disagree; inside every Chilean lurks a Municipal or Government Inspector, always on the lookout to detect and of course punish minor infractions while often ignoring much greater abuses elsewhere.

Anyone with a business has encountered some of these specimens in the form of Health, Tax, Labour or Municipal Inspectors. As in other parts of the world they can be b******s and have surprisingly strong powers.

But while attention has been focussed on the elections, Ms. Bachelet's government was busily adding yet another layer of Fiscalizacion in the form of greatly increased powers for the the National Consumer Service, SERNAC.

So great, in fact that they combine elements that, for instance in the case of criminal procedures, are handled by three separate institutions with the aim of guaranteeing impartiality; detection, investigation, trial and sentencing. Under the new proposed legislation, SERNAC would embody all these powers, Prosecutor, Judge, Jury and Hangman all in one. And unlike criminal trials, in these tribunals there is no presumption of innocence, nor does the state provide legal assistance.

Oddly enough, ni schus ni mus from the parliamentary "opposition" so far. They seem to be supinely going along with the government. If ever there was an issue where RN and the UDI should have protested this was it, but no, not a cheep out of them. But then this law doesn't affect their big businesses pals who have shoals of lawyers and plenty of cash for settlements. Its small businesses who will suffer the extra official harassment, and nobody cares about them. No money, no power.

The objections have come from the National Chamber of Commerce, and from the Banking Association. They lodged a complaint with the Tribunal Constitucional alleging that this initiative was unconstitutional, on various counts, and their complaint was upheld, to the indignation of the bureaucrats, understandably miffed that their despotic visions have been at least temporarily frustrated. This, unfortunately is the real Chile. [/rant]

your tax peso in action.jpg
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frozen-north
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Re: A Near Miss

Post by frozen-north » Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:31 pm

También fue declarado inconstitucional la posibilidad de que el Sernac dictara normas e instrucciones de carácter obligatoria, por lo que perdería su facultad normativa.

Cabe recordar que en noviembre la Cámara Nacional de Comercio (CNC) ingresó al TC un escrito de “téngase presente”, en el que solicitó una exhaustiva revisión de las nuevas facultades de la entidad, señalando que el exceso de facultades “implica concebir una autoridad administrativa sin precedentes, que concentrará enorme poder”.

Entre algunos expertos, el fallo del TC podría sentar precedentes para otros servicios y reguladores, como la SVS o la SBIF.

http://www.elmostrador.cl/mercados/2017 ... onatorias/
'Entre algunos expertos, el fallo del TC podría sentar precedentes para otros servicios y reguladores, como la SVS o la SBIF.'
La Superintendencia de Valores y Seguros (SVS) es institución chilena, autónoma, con personalidad jurídica y patrimonio propio, a quien corresponde la fiscalización de las personas que emitan o intermedien valores de oferta pública ...

https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superinte ... s_de_Chile
Superintendencia de Bancos e Instituciones Financieras de Chile

La Superintendencia de Bancos e Instituciones Financieras (SBIF) es una institución del Estado de Chile, autónoma, con personalidad jurídica y de duración indefinida, a quien corresponde la fiscalización en dicho país de las empresas bancarias,...

https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superinte ... s_de_Chile

frozen-north
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Re: A Near Miss

Post by frozen-north » Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:39 pm

fraggle092 wrote:
And unlike criminal trials, in these tribunals there is no presumption of innocence, nor does the state provide legal assistance.
I believe any fines would be a 'civil penalty' by a 'regulatory agency'.


A civil penalty or civil fine is a financial penalty imposed by a government agency as restitution for wrongdoing. The wrongdoing is typically defined by a codification of legislation, regulations, and decrees. The civil fine is not considered to be a criminal punishment, because it is primarily sought in order to compensate the state for harm done to it, rather than to punish the wrongful conduct. As such, a civil penalty, in itself, will not carry jail time or other legal penalties.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_penalty
A regulatory agency (also regulatory authority, regulatory body or regulator) is a public authority or government agency responsible for exercising autonomous authority over some area of human activity in a regulatory or supervisory capacity.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulatory_agency

frozen-north
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Re: A Near Miss

Post by frozen-north » Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:01 am

I believe this part is the most relevant:
La reforma disminuye los altos costos judiciales que implicaba la antigua normativa, así como la complejidad de una larga litigación en tribunales, cuestiones que, en la práctica, desincentivaban el actuar de los consumidores en su eventual reclamo contra infracciones de las cuales fueran víctimas.

Con los cambios, será el servicio, directamente, quien resolverá las denuncias presentadas cuando el caso cuente con los elementos de convicción para su resolución.
Aside from SERNAC, what other protection mechanisms are there for consumers in Chile?
Como una “pésima señal, y una maniobra contra los derechos de los consumidores”, calificó el senador y jefe de bancada PS, Alfonso De Urresti, el ingreso por parte de la Cámara Nacional de Comercio (CNC) de observaciones contra el proyecto de fortalecimiento del SERNAC.

“El sentido político del rechazo de la derecha en la tramitación, así como de la CNC ahora, tratando de utilizar al Tribunal Constitucional como una tercera cámara, va directamente en contra de los derechos e intereses de los millones de chilenos y chilenas que han enfrentado abusos en sus derechos como consumidores durante años”, remató De Urresti.

La reforma disminuye los altos costos judiciales que implicaba la antigua normativa, así como la complejidad de una larga litigación en tribunales, cuestiones que, en la práctica, desincentivaban el actuar de los consumidores en su eventual reclamo contra infracciones de las cuales fueran víctimas.

Con los cambios, será el servicio, directamente, quien resolverá las denuncias presentadas cuando el caso cuente con los elementos de convicción para su resolución.

Por otra parte, las facultades normativas e interpretativas de la ley del consumidor que se entregan al SERNAC permitirán contar con una regulación especializada en esta área, dando respuesta oportuna a los desafíos regulatorios de una economía dinámica.


http://www.elmostrador.cl/noticias/pais ... el-sernac/

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Re: A Near Miss

Post by admin » Thu Dec 14, 2017 6:26 am

hey, that is Bachelet's MO. If one bureaucrat is not doing a job, 6 must be better at not doing the job.

The only part of the economy that has consistently added jobs over the last 4 years, was the public sector; and, what do we have to show for it?

Not much.

Wait, that is not fair. We have a credit downgrade to show for it.
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frozen-north
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Re: A Near Miss

Post by frozen-north » Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:46 am


Estudio del SERNAC: diferencias de hasta 227% en pasajes de buses interurbanos previo a fin de semana largo
diciembre 07, 2017

El análisis consideró los precios hacia los 15 principales destinos interurbanos durante el día 27 y 28 de noviembre y los valores del día jueves 7 de diciembre. Se trata de las rutas hacia Antofagasta, Arica, Concepción, Copiapó, Coquimbo, Iquique, La Serena, Puerto Montt, Rancagua, Talca, Talcahuano, Temuco, Valdivia, Valparaíso y Viña del Mar.

El mayor aumento se detectó en la ruta desde Santiago a Viña del Mar, alcanzando un incremento de un 270%.

http://grafelbergnoticias.blogspot.ca/2 ... hasta.html

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Re: A Near Miss

Post by fraggle092 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:28 pm

I wrote my rant based on my experiences with Chilean officialdom. I faced both the Tribunal Tributario and the Tribunal Laboral, and (quite unusually)"won" both times. They were pyrrhic victories considering the amount of time, aggravation and money they cost me. But I know how they operate.

In the case of the SII I objected to their ruling, and the case was referred upwards to the Tax Tribunal, who found in my favour. The SII appealed. The Court of Appeal confirmed the lower court's decision. End of story, almost. At least I got back the CLP $6.000.000 they had removed from my company bank account without telling me.

But under this proposed SERNAC amendment, I would not have the right of appeal if I fell foul of the consumer laws.
Also, the amended law doesn't take circumstances into consideration. A SERNAC inspector could use the police to kick down a shop door in a dispute over, say a yogurt sold past its sell-by date, with swingeing fines for non-cooperation to boot.
An extreme and unlikely example maybe, but one that illustrates the level of power that they aspire to.
Not to mention the possibilities of abuse of power by corrupt functionaries and blackmail by clients. And of course its potential use as an instrument of state coercion.....

Right now SERNAC is battling Hites, the department store, over the usurious interest rates they charge.
Although I have no sympathy for people who pay through the nose en cuotas for the already overpriced Chinese tat unscrupulously being peddled by all the big retailers, I can understand the need for tougher protection in cases where massive profits are being made through consumer ignorance. But this lazy one-size-fits-all type of legislation lends itself to abuse.

The draft, which consists of modifications to law 19.496 can be found here. In MS Word format.

And the objections to the modifications, the Tengase Presente as presented to the Tribunal Constitutional here.
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Donnybrook
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Re: A Near Miss

Post by Donnybrook » Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:00 pm

I have no opinion about the changes because I don't own a business. However, SERNAC really only has mediating powers and no teeth at all. I think the idea was to make it more of a regulating body. Up until now it is the only real recourse for consumers and, aside from group legal action, it could not do much to help individuals aside from trying to bring both parties to the table. There are indeed abuses by consumers with false claims against companies but most have been unmasked fairly quickly. Abuses of individual consumers are much more frequent. I think SERNAC needs to have more power but a lot of input is needed to make something which is fair to both sides.

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fraggle092
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Re: A Near Miss

Post by fraggle092 » Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:04 am

Donnybrook wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:00 pm
I think SERNAC needs to have more power but a lot of input is needed to make something which is fair to both sides.
Of course I agree, I'm a consumer as well. But in the current anti-business climate that's unlikely.
Considering the amount of money parliamentarians are paid, I would expect a better quality of legislative output.
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Re: A Near Miss

Post by JHyre » Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:22 am

Fraggle,

Thanks for the news. Sounds like the CFPB in the States - vast power, no accountability. Essentially a dictatorial body for our own good. And one that can crush any small business at a whim. Throw in some Latin culture and we have "winner, winner, chicken dinner". Add this (if it ultimately happens) to other obstacles and it sounds like doing business in Chile (unless it's big and you are part of the ruling elite) is not for the faint of heart.

John Hyre

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Re: A Near Miss

Post by JHyre » Fri Dec 15, 2017 12:18 pm

I mentioned this post to Carolina. Her response:

"I have talked to a number of Venezuelans who have fled to Chile. They all said the same thing: Chile is ruining a good thing. They are becoming more like Venezuela."

Oddly, I have a number of Russian immigrant contacts who say the same thing about the US.

I'm sure that socialism will work out this time. This time will be different. Yup.

John Hyre

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fraggle092
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Re: A Near Miss

Post by fraggle092 » Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:09 pm

Hi John
JHyre wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:22 am
it sounds like doing business in Chile (unless it's big and you are part of the ruling elite) is not for the faint of heart.
Excluding the groups you already mentioned, the only people doing OK are those that fly under the regulatory radars, or are cutting corners. And drug dealers, of course. The big ones are not getting caught. Don't ask me how I know.
JHyre wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 12:18 pm
..."I have talked to a number of Venezuelans who have fled to Chile. They all said the same thing: Chile is ruining a good thing. They are becoming more like Venezuela."...
IMy wife has some Cuban immigrant friends. They say the same thing.
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