How do you go about making a complaint with the trader which is situated in another European country about something you bought either when on holiday or through the internet? The ECC will give you advice about what to do and how to submit a complaint.
How to submit the complaint?
You can submit a complaint either by contacting the Centre with all the information and documentation relating to your case or by submitting your complaint directly through the online complaint form by clicking the ‘submit complaint’ button below.
The online complaint form will allow you to fill in your details and the details of the trader, choosing also the country of establishment of the trader. In the complaint form you will also be requested to fill in a detailed description of your case and also to attach any documentation which is relevant to your case, such as proof of purchase or payment and any other written correspondence that you have with the seller. Once you have completed the form you will be able to send the complaint.
Procedure for handling complaints at the ECC
Once the Centre receives the completed form we will acknowledge your complaint as soon as possible. Upon receiving all the documentation relating to your case we will inform you whether your case will be sent to the ECC where the trader is established. The trader ECC will decide whether the case will be handled for conciliation with the trader. Once a case is taken over by the trader ECC, the mediation procedure will commence and the trader will be contacted on the consumer’s behalf with the aim of reaching an amicable solution to the complaint at hand.
The ECC handling the case will communicate to the trader the latter’s obligations towards the consumer which emanate from the relevant consumer legislation. The ECC will also take into consideration standards of reasonableness and fairness when handling a complaint.
The ECC of the consumer will subsequently inform the consumer of any updates about his or her case as soon as feedback is received from the ECC where the trader is established. It is advisable that if there are any developments from the consumer’s part, these will be communicated immediately to the ECC so that they may be communicated to the ECC of trader ECC, since such developments could have an effect on the outcome of the mediation procedure.
The mediation has an established duration of 70 days from when the case is accepted by the trader ECC, however this all depends on the collaboration of the trader with the Centre and the circumstances surrounding the case.
What happens if no solution is found?
In many cases the outcome of the ECC’s mediation is to the consumer’s satisfaction, however it may happen that the trader will refuse to cooperate or will maintain its position. In that case once the ECC makes several attempts to reach an amicable settlement, the case will be closed and the mediation procedure will stop. However the ECC will explore with the consumer other means of redress which may be available to the consumer, such as the possibility of finding a proper out of court dispute resolution body which can handle the particular case or the possibility of filing judicial proceedings.