May 6, 2020
Europe Day: European Consumer Centres Network records busiest month ever during Corona crisis
This year’s Europe Day on 9th May, which commemorates the Schuman Declaration, is being overshadowed by the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. The European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) senses the importance of cross-border consumer information in this crisis: It registers an unprecedented high number of queries.
Busiest month ever
What to do when I cannot take my flight? Can I change my hotel booking? Do I get my money back for the cancelled concert? Since the beginning of February, the European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) has been receiving numerous requests in connection with the Corona crisis. In April it even registered its busiest month ever, reaching 17,600 queries. This is almost twice the amount received during the same period last year.
Especially when it comes to accommodation services, package tours or air passenger rights, the network can currently help consumers. This is what ECC did for instance for a couple from Italy, who were unable to attend their 2,000-euro package tour to Tenerife due to the restrictions and border closures. The German airline refused to reimburse the costs as in Germany one could still move freely at that time. However, after ECC’s intervention the consumers managed to get their money back.
This is precisely the reason why consumers can contact the ECC-Net for free. Contact point for Maltese consumers is the European Consumer Centre Malta based in Valletta. On the website http://eccnetmalta.gov.mt/ one will not only find information about European consumer rights but also an online form whereby consumers can submit complaints against a company based in another EU-country.
15 years of experience and exchange
Not only because of the corona crisis, 2020 is not a year like any other for the ECC-Net: The network also celebrates its 15th anniversary. In the current crisis, the long-standing experience and stability of the international team of more than 150 legal experts is proving its worth.
The European Consumer Centres exchange on current legislative changes in connection with the pandemic: Some European countries are for example adapting their travel laws or the rules for reimbursement of event tickets. This way, the European Consumer Centres always have the most up-to-date information, which they pass on to consumers on their websites or in personal consultations. A real benefit for European consumers.
Each EU country as well as Iceland, Norway and the United Kingdom have a European Consumer Centre and together they form the ECC-Net. The ECC-Net informs consumers in Europe about their rights and provides free help with cross-border problems. More information is available on the website of the EU Commission, which co-finances the network: https://ec.europa.eu/info/live-work-travel-eu/consumers/resolve-your-consumer-complaint/european-consumer-centres-network-ecc-net_en