Following a dialogue with the European Commission and national consumer protection authorities, Amazon has committed to bringing its cancellation practices in line with EU consumer rules. The platform will enable consumers from the EU and EEA to unsubscribe from Amazon Prime with just two clicks, using a prominent and clear “cancel button”. This change was necessary to comply with the EU rules on consumer protection and, in particular, with the Unfair commercial practices Directive. Following a complaint by the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), the Norwegian Consumer Council and the Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue, an action was launched in April 2021 by the Commission in cooperation with national consumer authorities. The reported cancellation practices consisted in a large number of hurdles to unsubscribe, including complicated navigation menus, skewed wording, confusing choices, and repeated nudging. Amazon has now committed to improve its cancellation policy and will implement the changes as of today.

Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders said: “Opting for an online subscriptions can be very handy for consumers as it is often a very straightforward process, but the reverse action of unsubscribing should be just as easy. Consumers must be able to exercise their rights without any pressure from platforms. One thing is clear: manipulative design or “dark patterns” must be banned. I welcome Amazon’s commitment to simplify their practices to allow consumers to unsubscribe freely and easily.”

Previously, to cancel their subscription, consumers had to scroll through multiple pages containing distracting information and unclear button labels. As a first measure resulting from this dialogue initiated in 2021, Amazon started making changes to its Prime web interface, labelling the cancel button more clearly and shortening the explanatory text. From now, this text will be further reduced so that consumers do not get distracted by warnings and deterred from cancelling. Overall, as a result of the dialogue, the platform will now enable consumers to unsubscribe in two simple steps, through an easy and visible cancellation button.

Amazon has committed to implementing these changes on all its EU websites and for all devices (desktop, mobile and tablet).

Next steps

The Commission and national authorities will continue to monitor the implementation of Amazon’s commitments to align with EU consumer law. 

Background

The Consumer Protection Cooperation (CPC) is a network of authorities responsible for the enforcement of EU consumer protection laws. To tackle cross-border issues, their actions are coordinated at EU level.

National authorities are responsible for the enforcement of EU consumer protection laws. Thanks to the updated Consumer Protection Cooperation Regulation, they now have stronger powers to detect irregularities and take speedy action against rogue traders. Cooperation applies to consumer rules covering various areas such as unfair commercial practices, e-commerce, geo-blocking, package holidays, online selling, and passenger rights.

More information

Coordinated actions on Market places and digital services

More information on consumer enforcement actions

 

Annex

Screenshots of the new cancelation procedure, that Amazon committed to implement:

Screenshots of the previous cancellation procedure (source: Report “You can log out, but you can never leave”, Norwegian Consumer Council) to illustrate distracting information and button labels

Screenshots of the previous cancellation procedure

 

 

Screenshots of the previous cancellation procedure

 

Screenshots of the previous cancellation procedure

Tomorrow, 1 July 2022, the new improved Roaming regulation enters into force. It extends “Roam-like-at-home” until 2032 – the scheme thanks to which travellers in the EU and the EEA can call, text and surf abroad without extra charges. The new rules will also bring about significant benefits for EU businesses and citizens, who will enjoy a better roaming experience, with the same quality of mobile service abroad as they have at home. The new rules also improve access to emergency communications across the EU and guarantee clear information about services that may be subject to extra charges.

Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age, said: “With our roaming regulation we have all benefitted from Roam-like-at-home. We can call, text and use the Internet without extra costs when we travel in the EU. This is a very tangible benefit of our European Single Market. Prolonging these rules will keep inter-operator prices competitive, and allow consumers to continue enjoying free-of-charge roaming services for the next ten years.”

Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market, said: Remember when we had to switch off mobile data when travelling in Europe — to avoid ending up with a massive roaming bill? Well this is history. And we intend to keep it this way for at least the next 10 years. Better speed, more transparency: we keep improving EU citizens’ lives.”

Better mobile internet speed while travelling

Consumers now will have the right to the same quality of mobile internet abroad, as the one they have at home. Operators providing mobile services should ensure that consumers have access to use 4G, or the more advanced 5G, networks, if these are available at the destination the consumer is visiting. Consumers should be able to find information about network availability in their mobile service contracts and on the operators’ websites.

Preventing unexpected hidden charges

When consumers travel by planes or on boats, mobile phones may automatically connect to the on-board network, provided by satellites. Using mobile connection services provided by non-terrestrial networks may be subject to very high surcharges. The new roaming rules oblige operators to protect their consumers and notify them if their phones switch to a non-terrestrial networks. Additionally, operators should automatically interrupt mobile services if the mobile services over non-terrestrial networks reach charges of €50 or another predefined limit. Operators may also offer additional services, such as the possibility to opt out from roaming on planes and boats.  

More information for better choices

Consumers should be able to make informed decisions about using services that may subject them to additional costs. When travelling abroad, calling customer service, insurance and airline helpdesks, or SMS texting to participate in contests or events, may be more expensive than it costs at home. Operators have to make sure to provide consumers with information about the types of phone numbers that may carry additional costs when consumers dial or access them from abroad. Operators should inform consumers via automatic SMS messages sent when crossing the border to another EU country, as well as in the service contracts.

112 – Emergency communication while travelling

The new roaming rules are ensuring that citizens are aware of the single EU emergency number 112, which they can use anywhere in the EU to reach emergency services. By June 2023, operators should send automatic messages to their customers who travel abroad to inform them about the available alternative means of reaching emergency services, such as through real time text or apps. Those citizens who are not able to make voice calls may use these alternative means.

Lower inter-operator prices, better conditions for consumers

The new Roaming regulation sets lower wholesale charges, the cost to operators for using networks abroad to provide services to their customers when they are abroad. The wholesale caps are set at levels that ensure that operators can sustain and recover the cost of providing roaming services to consumers at domestic prices:

  • For data services, the new regulation sets the following wholesale caps: 2 €/GB in 2022, 1.8 €/GB in 2023, 1.55 €/GB in 2024, 1.3 €/GB in 2025, 1.1 €/GB in 2026 and 1 EUR/GB from 2027 onwards.
  • For voice: 0.022 €/min in 2022-2024 and 0.019 €/min from 2025 onwards.
  • For SMS: 0.004 €/SMS in 2022-2024 and 0.003 €/SMS from 2025 onwards.

Lower wholesale charges benefit consumers, as they should ensure that all operators are able to offer competitive roaming subscriptions in line with the ‘Roam like at home’ principle.

Background

Thanks to the EU Roaming regulation since 2017, citizens have been enjoying free roaming to call, text and use mobile data abroad in the EU without additional charges. A review of the rules has shown that there was room for improvement. In the latest Eurobarometer from February 2021, 33% of respondents who travelled abroad had lower mobile internet speed than they usually had at home, and 28% had a lower network standard abroad (i.e. a 3G network instead of 4G). Furthermore, a study conducted by the Joint Research Centre found that 25% of customers had, at least once, experienced worse quality of service in roaming compared to at home, even when network conditions could have provided better quality. As the previous Roaming regulation was due to expire on 30 June 2020 and, in order to allow all mobile phone and Internet users to continue being connected at no extra charge when travelling across Member States, the Commission had proposed in February 2021 a new improved Roaming regulation. It enters into force tomorrow, 1 July.

For More Information

About Roaming

Updated Questions and Answers on the new Roaming Regulation

Questions and answers about how ‘Roam like at home’ works

Reports and Studies about Roaming

Following dialogues with the Commission and the network of national consumer protection (CPC) authorities, TikTok has committed to align its practices with the EU rules on advertising and consumer protection, namely, the Unfair commercial practices Directive, the Consumer rights Directive and the Unfair contract terms Directive.  This dialogue first originated from a complaint of the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC). In February 2021, BEUC raised the alarm regarding certain problematic practices of TikTok allegedly breaching EU consumer rules. For instance, BEUC had found that the social media platform was failing to protect children from hidden advertising and inappropriate content. Following the complaint, the Commission, together with the CPC, and led by the Irish and Swedish consumer authorities, launched a dialogue with TikTok. The series of concerns have now been addressed and TikTok committed to change its practices.

Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders said: “All social media platforms are required to play by the rules and make sure that consumers can easily identify commercial content, including when promoted by influencers. We welcome TikTok’s commitment for more transparency in the way it operates its business activity. Thanks to our dialogue, consumers will be able to spot all kinds of advertisement that they are exposed to when using this platform. Despite today’s commitment, we will continue to monitor the situation in the future, paying particular attention to the effects on young users.”

Overview of main commitments:  

  • Users can now report advertisements and offers that could potentially push or trick children into purchasing goods or services;
  • Branded content now abides by a policy protecting users, which prohibits the promotion of inappropriate products and services, such as alcohol, “get rich quick” schemes and cigarettes;
  • Users are prompted to switch on a toggle when they publish content captioned with specific brand-related keywords such as #ad or #sponsored;
  • If a user has more than 10,000 followers, their videos are reviewed by TikTok against its Branded Content Policy and Community Guidelines to ensure that the content is appropriate;
  • Policies clarify how to purchase and use coins, and pop-up windows will provide the estimated price in local currencies. Consumers are allowed to withdraw within 14 days from the purchase, and their purchase history is also available;
  • Policies also clarify how to get rewards from TikTok and how to send gifts, for which users will be able to easily calculate their price;
  • Paid advertisement in videos will be identified with a new label, which will be tested for effectiveness by a third party;
  • Users are able to report undisclosed branded content, and new rules for hashtags and labels will be implemented.

Next steps

The Consumer Protection Cooperation Network (CPC) will actively monitor the implementation of these commitments, in 2022 and beyond. Data Protection Authorities will remain competent to assess compliance of the new policies and practices of the company with EU data protection rules.

CPC authorities will, in particular, monitor and assess compliance where concerns remain, such as whether there is sufficient clarity around children’s understanding of the commercial aspects of TikTok’s practices. For example, for what concerns personalised advertising, in light of the recently published “5 key principles of fair advertising to children

The CPC will also carefully check the outcome of the testing of labels, as well as their implementation, and the adequacy of the display of the estimated unit price per coin in local currency when sending a gift. In addition, actions at national level may be launched to ensure that EU standards are respected and to guarantee that all platforms abide by the same rules.

Background

The Consumer Protection Cooperation (CPC) is a network of authorities responsible for the enforcement of EU consumer protection laws. To tackle cross-border issues, their actions are coordinated at EU level.

National authorities are responsible for the enforcement of EU consumer protection laws. Thanks to the updated Consumer Protection Cooperation Regulation, they now have stronger powers to detect irregularities and take speedy action against rogue traders. Cooperation applies to consumer rules covering various areas such as unfair commercial practices, e-commerce, geo-blocking, package holidays, online selling, and passenger rights.

More information

CPC actions: social media and search engines

IP/22/3823

The Commission welcomes the swift provisional political agreement reached this morning between the European Parliament and EU Member States on the Commission’s proposal on a common charging solution adopted in September 2021. As of 2024, all new handheld mobile phones, tablets, digital cameras, handheld videogame consoles, headphones, headsets, portable speakers, e-readers, keyboards, mice, portable navigation systems, and earbuds will have to be equipped with a USB-C charging port. The deadline for laptops is 2026.

Leveraging the power of the Single Market, these new and long-awaited rules will bring resource and CO2 savings while allowing technological innovation.

Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for a Europe fit for the Digital Age, said: “No more bundles of different chargers in our drawers. One common charger is a real benefit to us as consumers. It will also help our environment. So we welcome today’s agreement of the common charger following a swift conclusion of negotiations between the co-legislators.”

Thierry Breton, Commissioner responsible for the Internal Market, said: “A common charger is common sense for the many electronic devices on our daily lives. Thanks to our strong political commitment, we found an agreement in less than 9 months. European consumers will be able to use a single charger for all their portable electronics – an important step to increase convenience and reduce waste. The deal we struck this morning will bring around 250 million euros of savings to consumers annually.  It will also allow new technologies such as wireless charging to emerge and to mature without letting innovation to become source of market fragmentation and consumer inconvenience.”

Today’s agreement reached by the co-legislators confirms and extends the Commission’s proposal:

•  The charging port and fast charging technology will be harmonised: first, USB-C will be the common port. This will allow consumers to charge their devices with the same USB-C charger, regardless of the device brand. At the same time, harmonising fast charging technology will help prevent that different producers unjustifiably limit the charging speed and will help to ensure that charging speed is the same when using any compatible charger for a device. These rules will now apply to a range of electronic devices mentioned above. More devices may be included in the future following regular assessment of the market by the Commission.

•  Unbundling the sale of a charger from the sale of the electronic device: consumers will be able to purchase a new electronic device without a new charger. This will limit the number of unwanted chargers purchased or left unused. The results produced and the possible extension of the measure to the cable will be assessed in the course of the implementation.

•  Improved information for consumers: producers will need to provide relevant information about charging performance, including information on the power required by the device and if it supports fast charging. This will make it easier for consumers to see if their existing chargers meet the requirements of their new device or help them to select a compatible charger.

•  Setting the way for harmonised wireless charging solutions: since the technology is evolving rapidly and in order to limit a potential future fragmentation of the market, the Commission will assess the different technologies available in view of a possible future harmonisation, and will request to European Standardisation Organisations that the appropriate solution is translated into a harmonised standard. 

The agreement reached today also ensures that the common charger solutions can be implemented without delay, especially given the widely available technological solutions and ample time already given to industry to adapt. A transition period of 24 months from official adoption is therefore established to make the common charger a reality for everyone for all categories of products in scope except for laptops which will benefit from 40 months.

Background

In 2020, approximately 420 million mobile phones and other portable electronic devices were sold in the EU. However, due to incompatible chargers on the market more than a third of consumers report having experiencing problems, while spending approximately €2.4 billion annually on additional standalone chargers. At the same time, disposed of and unused chargers contribute to around 11,000 tonnes of e-waste every year.

The Commission has supported a common charging solution for mobile phones and similar electronic devices since 2009. While years of working with industry on a voluntary approach helped to bring down the number of mobile phone chargers from 30 to 3 within the last decade, this approach did not allow achieve the full harmonisation. With regards to the unbundling of chargers, there was currently no legal basis to frame such a practice. Since it delivers significant environmental benefits, it is important to complement the harmonisation of the charging receptacle. Additionally, the harmonisation of the charging protocol ensures that both provisions guarantee the full interoperability and retrieve the biggest benefits for consumers and the environment. Those benefits will be enhanced by the broadening of the list of categories of products covered. With regards to wireless charging, the Commission will monitor the evolution of the technologies and market dynamic with the objective of introducing a future harmonisation. 

For More Information

Press release on the Commission’s proposal on a common charging solution for electronic devices

Factsheet on the Commission’s proposal on a common charging solution for electronic devices

IP/22/3524

Today, the Commission has adopted a new European strategy for a Better Internet for Kids (BIK+), to improve age-appropriate digital services and to ensure that every child is protected, empowered and respected online.

Read more…

Today, the Commission is proposing new EU legislation to prevent and combat child sexual abuse online. With 85 million pictures and videos depicting child sexual abuse reported worldwide in 2021 alone, and many more going unreported, child sexual abuse is pervasive. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the issue, with the Internet Watch foundation noting a 64% increase in reports of confirmed child sexual abuse in 2021 compared to the previous year. The current system based on voluntary detection and reporting by companies has proven to be insufficient to adequately protect children and, in any case, will no longer be possible once the interim solution currently in place expires. Up to 95% of all reports of child sexual abuse received in 2020 came from one company, despite clear evidence that the problem does not only exist on one platform. not only exist on one platform.  

Read more….

Today, the Commission is proposing to update the EU consumer rules to empower consumers for the green transition. The updated rules will ensure that consumers can take informed and environment-friendly choices when buying their products. Consumers will have a right to know how long a product is designed to last for and how, if at all, it can be repaired. In addition, the rules will strengthen consumer protection against untrustworthy or false environmental claims, banning ‘greenwashing’ and practices misleading consumers about the durability of a product.

Read more…

 

 

 

 

Press release

 

15 March, 2022

World Consumer Rights Day on 15 March: Best sustainable practices from all over Europe

 

By 2050, Europe aims to become the world’s first climate-neutral continent. The European Green Deal package highlights measures that will improve the well-being and health of citizens and future generations.

The consumer protection sector is also covered in these measures by introducing concrete initiatives which promote longer-lasting products that can be repaired, recycled and reused.

Numerous schemes and campaigns are being introduced by various National organisations promoting a more sustainable consumer environment. Some of these actions also go beyond EU legislation. This World Consumer Rights Day – 15th March 2022, the ECC Net Malta will highlight some of these sustainable best practices from all over the EU together with the Maltese initiatives.  

Austria

The country is fighting tons of electronic waste with repair vouchers. These vouchers cover half of the repair costs for consumers up to a maximum of 200 €, encouraging citizens to invest money into repairs instead of throwing away broken electronic devices and buying new ones. The programme, which was a success in Vienna since 2020, was extended to the whole country.

Belgium

In Belgium, you can find second-hand shops called “De Kringwinkel” or “Les Petits Riens” with locations all over the country. Anyone can drop off furniture, kitchen utensils and similar items they no longer need or acquire them at a bargain price.

Bulgaria

A multinational clothing company operating in Bulgaria encourages consumers to bring outworn clothes to their stores. Clothes are accepted on-site, and the trader takes care to get these clothes reused or recycled. When handing in their old clothes at the shop, customers receive a voucher to redeem at their next purchase.

Croatia

The Croatian online platform “Burza otpada” (waste exchange) brings together companies and promotes the exchange of information on the supply and demand of secondary raw materials arising from production processes or resulting from waste management processes. The project, launched in 2017, has an indirect impact on the consumers since it aims to reduce waste disposal and a sustainable approach to primary resources management, improving the living environment for all.

Cyprus

Cyprus promotes incentive sponsorship to purchase a new bicycle apart from subsidising the repair and maintenance of a used bicycle. The country also prohibits the free disposal of plastic bags at points of sale.

Denmark

“Too Good To Go” is a mobile app developed in Denmark in 2015 to fight food waste. Restaurants or shops post unsold leftover food or meals they would otherwise throw away. Customers can check the app to see what is available in their area and pick up the food at reasonable prices. A win-win situation for consumers, restaurants and the environment simultaneously.

France

France encourages consumers to choose repair over replacement with a new product for defective products. For example, they are suspending the legal guarantee of conformity while a product is being repaired or granting a six-month extension of the guarantee if a consumer asks a trader to repair the product. France even has a 2-year guarantee renewal if the trader exchanges an appliance instead of repairing it as requested.

Germany

With an amendment to the German law on the circular economy, the country wants to stop overproduction, the destruction of new goods and unnecessary returns. Up to now, especially electronic goods and clothing often end up in the trash bin, although they are functioning and like new. Manufacturers and retailers will be held more accountable in the future, and they will have to document how they deal with unsold goods, e.g. if they donate them or resell them at a lower price.

Italy

The Italian platform NeXt-Nuova Economia per tutti provides an overview of sustainable best practices across the country. Whether these are carried out by companies, schools, municipalities or start-ups, the tool “Vote for Your Wallet” encourages consumers to take responsibility and make informed, conscious purchase choices.

Latvia

Several Latvian fuel stations encourage consumers to bring their reusable coffee cups. One of the largest retail chains with hundreds of retailing places also follows this practice. Customers who bring their cups get a 10 to 15 per cent discount on their coffee to reduce the number of waste cups in the country.

Luxembourg

Luxembourg is the first country in the world to offer free public transport. Since 2020, both residents and tourists can hop on the train, tram or bus without buying a ticket. The aim is to raise awareness for environmentally friendly mobility.

Malta

The Beverage Container Refund Scheme incentivises the return of single-use beverage containers by applying a refundable deposit of €0.10c on the sales of beverages (These include water, carbonated and non-carbonated soft drinks, ciders, beers, ready to drink coffee and dilutable in glass, PET or metal bottles and cans). The refund scheme will be implemented in Malta from 1st April 2022. In addition, a network of Reverse Vending Machines shall be available to consumers all over Malta and Gozo for returns of beverage containers.

Water Point is an organisation aiming at helping the environment by reducing plastic bottles waste. Water Point filling stations were installed all over Malta to provide fresh micro filtrated water at an affordable price (15 Euro cent per litre). These vending machines filter the water directly from the main water supply and refrigerate still or sparkling water. Currently, there are nine water dispensing machines strategically placed all over Malta.

The Don’t Waste Waste campaign is an educational and awareness-raising campaign on waste management. The aim is to raise awareness about the importance of waste management to drive a cultural shift in behaviour whereby waste is considered a resource. Businesses implementing good waste management practices will be benefiting from free advertising/promotion of such initiatives as examples of good practice.

WATER – BE THE CHANGE is a national water conservation campaign launched in September 2019 to deliver an effective educational and awareness-raising campaign on optimising and efficient use of water resources. The campaign will run for three years targeting the domestic, commercial, and agricultural sectors. Gift packs are being distributed door-to-door in all localities in Malta and Gozo. The kit includes gadgets and information on reducing the water bills and saving water.

Netherlands

Rotterdam-based “Pieter Pot” is the first package-free, circular online supermarket in the Netherlands. Consumers buy their products in bulk, and the supermarket delivers them in deposit glass jars, while used jars can be returned to the delivery driver to be washed and filled again. Forbes reports that package-free supermarkets could save up to 20 kg of plastic per person per year.

Norway

There is a deposit scheme for recyclable bottles and cans in Norway that all Norwegians are familiar with. Recycling machines are stationed at the entrance of all supermarkets, and you get a refund of the deposit you paid when purchasing the bottle or can. Last year more than 92 % of all bottles and cans in Norway were recycled.

Poland

An architectural studio from Wrocław has created a project for a mobile hotel made of an isothermal refrigerated truck. They use trailer trucks we usually see on the road, used to transport food. The project involves upcycling, i.e. increasing the value of the material and repurposing cooling trucks into hotel rooms. “Good spot” is the first complex in Poland offering this type of mobile accommodation.

Portugal

The Portuguese government has launched a programme to fight energy poverty. It subsidises work on houses to make them more energy-efficient. For example, building insulation, sustainable heating or improvements to windows and doors.

Slovenia

In Slovenia, the Reuse Centre, a non-profit organisation, carries out sustainable consumption activities according to the motto: reduce, repair, reuse. For example, they allow consumers to participate in the repair of products and teach them proper maintenance. They also manufacture new products from existing ones (upcycling).

Sweden

Sweden has reduced its VAT rate of 25% to 12% for repair services for bicycles, shoes, leather goods, clothing, and household linen. Craftsmen can offer discounts of up to 50% on repairs of large electric appliances – the state pays the difference.

 

Press contact:

ECC Net Malta – ecc.malta@mccaa.org.mt 

 

This press release was funded by the European Union. The content of this visual represents the views of the author only and it is his/her sole responsibility; it cannot be considered to reflect the views of the European Commission and/or the European Innovation Council and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Executive Agency (EISMEA) or any other body of the European Union. The European Commission and the Agency do not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.

The European Commission today set out guidelines for businesses, governments and citizens to prepare for the end of the transition period, regardless of whether and what kind of deal is agreed between the EU and the U.K.

“Even in case of the most ambitious future partnership … there will be far-reaching and automatic changes and consequences for citizens, consumers, businesses, public administrations, investors, students and researchers, as of 1 January 2021,” the document reads.

It lists changes that will take place in the EU from January 1, 2021 when it comes to customs checks, tariffs and VAT, financial services and recognition of professional qualifications, energy cooperation, travel and tourism, legal contracts, data and intellectual property, and EU agreements with third countries.

The paper, addressed to the European Parliament, the Council of the EU, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, also calls on EU countries to raise awareness of the consequences of Brexit.

It insists that the document “in no way seeks to prejudge the outcome of negotiations, nor to examine the possible implications of a failure to reach an agreement on a future partnership.”

Talks between the EU and the U.K. this week again failed to break the impasse in the negotiations. An EU spokesperson said today that “significant divergences” remain between both sides.

The document states that while “negotiations so far have shown little progress,” the Commission’s objective is “to conclude, by the end of 2020, an ambitious partnership covering all areas agreed with the United Kingdom in the Political Declaration.”

More information: https://ec.europa.eu/info/european-union-and-united-kingdom-forging-new-partnership/future-partnership/getting-ready-end-transition-period_en

Press release

 May 7, 2021

Since March 2020, consumers have even more than before turned to the European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) for help with cross-border problems. The network has recovered a total of over 4 million euros since the beginning of the pandemic for consumers whose flights were cancelled, whose hotels were closed or who suffered another COVID-19 related breach of their rights, for example an online purchase that went wrong due to the pandemic.

The ECC-Net helps to get a refund

Not being able to travel is one thing. Losing money is another. The European network helps consumers who cannot find an agreement with the tour operator or any other company based in another EU country, Iceland or Norway.

Especially since the pandemic, it repeatedly happens that travellers have the lawful right to get a refund, but only receive a partial amount or nothing at all. Or they are offered a voucher when in fact they are entitled to an immediate refund. This is exactly where the network comes in. In almost 70 % of the disputes it received, it has been able to achieve a positive and out-of-court solution for the consumer.

ECC-Net COVID-19 year in figures

Between March 2020 and March 2021, the network received 170,000 enquiries from consumers across Europe whose consumer rights had been infringed or who had a question about European consumer law.

This is 44 % more than in the same period the year before. The vast majority of enquiries related to the tourism sector: cancelled flights, consumers who did not want to or could not travel due to the pandemic, closed accommodation or cancelled package holidays.

 

 

Context:

Each EU country as well as Iceland and Norway have a European Consumer Centre. Together they form the ECC-Net. The ECC-Net informs consumers in Europe about their rights and provides free help with cross-border problems. It is co-financed by the European Commission. The network cooperates with the UK International Consumer Centre.

Press release

December 15, 2021

On 16th December 2021, the European Consumer Centre Network will launch an information hub for European consumers. Through this new website, European consumers can find all the answers to their questions about consumer rights and entitlements on the European Consumer Centre Network (ECC-Net)’s brand new website.

Members from the Netherlands, Ireland, Sweden, Italy, Cyprus, and Germany worked together to produce a clear and comprehensive source of information and answers to all relevant issues and dilemmas faced by European consumers. This new user-friendly digital platform is a complete and practical guide to consumer protections under European Union law.

The ECC-Net offers European consumers advice on their consumer rights and legal protection when shopping and travelling in another European Union Member or European Economic Area country. The new website gives consumers practical guidance on how to exercise their consumer rights and where to turn to for help when something goes wrong. ECC-Net, will assist consumers by finding an amicable out-of-court solution to consumer-business disputes following cross-border transactions. Where necessary, they liaise directly with the business and ensure that the consumer is informed of their rights and receives expert assistance in their language.

Apart from all the information on the new website eccnet.eu, you can also find the contact details of all European Consumer Centres, including Norway and Iceland, to get in touch with a question or to submit a complaint about a cross-border business.

The ECC-Net’s updates on the launch of the new website are available on the Twitter channel:  twitter.com/ECC_web

Are you satisfied?
+1
0
+1
0