Record number of consumer complaints
In 2020, consumers raised at least 4,480 queries about their rights in the EU. In addition, they lodged 3,141 complaints about European businesses. That is 51.4% more than in 2019 (2,074 complaints). Almost 62% of those complaints were submitted by Belgian consumers and were about Dutch businesses. Most complaints from Dutch consumers were about British and German businesses.
Most common queries and complaints: travel restrictions as a consequence of corona
The travel restrictions and measures implemented by governments because of the coronavirus led to an influx of queries and complaints about consumers’ travel-related rights in this unprecedented time. The vast majority of queries were about bookings in the travel and transport sector. Widespread travel and flight cancellations gave rise to many consumer problems with airlines, accommodation providers and package travel providers. Distressed consumers contacted the ECC to seek redress.
ECC Nederland worked closely with ECCs in other countries as part of the mediation process between consumer and business. Most businesses cooperated in finding solutions acceptable to both parties.
Cross-border online purchases
Since the start of the pandemic, Dutch consumers have been buying from webshops in other European countries more and more. As a result, there was also an increase in the number of complaints about these overseas webshops. Many of those complaints were about non-delivery, following through on guarantees, and payment problems for purchases such as clothing and shoes.