ODECU is an autonomous entity created in 1994. Its institutional mission is to promote the development and strengthening of the consumers movement in Chile, working for the promotion and defence of consumer rights and so that consumers exercise their due responsibilities; to promote transparency and fairness in the dealings of the market; and encourage the democratic, equitable, and sustainable development of society.
In the consumer area in Chile there has been a growing trend over the last few years, with an increasing awareness of part of the population regarding the circumstances in which people should act, what is perceived as adverse, and what makes people feel defenceless and lacking resources. For example in the area of contracting of credit services in financial institutions and retails are insufficiently regulated This means that consumers of low incomes and middle classes are subject of misused practices and credit charges are very high and are the main causes of unpaid debts In spite of the existence of norms and institutions that regulate the different markets, in the sense that the ruling doctrine allows, or in the way that legislators and authorities understand such regulations, consumers feel that their rights are not properly recognised or protected. Over the last 8 years ODECU has been involve in consumer’s debts problems trough a website www.misdeudas.cl. Beside of that we have done several studies on contract , denounced abuses and made proposal in order to improve consumers protection protect consumers In other area ODECU have produced valued change within Chilean society. We have been responsible for a 4% reduction in the sugar content of cereals; for recent legislative change regarding salt content in food products; the reduction of salt and water in poultry; and the recent roundtable discussions with government officials and relevant corporate representatives regarding the codification of sugar content in flavored milk beverages, mostly consumed by children. These represent a few of ODECU’s accomplishments gained by its testing.