Have you experienced unpleasant moments when purchasing poor-quality goods from a foreign online store? Or wasn’t your luggage delivered on time after the flight? Or was it damaged?
Did you know that these and many other problems can be solved?
You are not alone! Do not despair: the European Consumer Centres will help you out.The European Commission has founded the Network of European Consumer Centres (ECC-Net), consisting of 30 European Consumer Centres (the EU member states, Norway and Iceland), which cooperate in order to provide consumers with information on the cross-border purchases as well as to help consumers find solutions in disputes with foreign vendors.
The ECC-Net activities and services are as follows:
- providing information on the cross-border shopping and ensuring that consumers know their rights. Similarly, ECC-Net provides information on consumer rights in the EU as well as on the consumer rights in their own country;
- providing advice and support to any user experiencing problems with the cross-border purchases;
- helping a consumer reach an agreement – a positive outcome – with a vendor in a problem situation or dispute;
- the ECC-Net members collaborate by organizing joint projects, within the framework of which the areas that cause or may cause difficulties for consumers are studied. So, for example, the joint projects in the area of air passenger rights and e-commerce were organized, identifying the current major problems in Europe;
- the cross-border complaint form is available for consumers, by filling out which on the ECC-Net participant’s home page the consumer’s complaint is automatically sent to and registered in the common cross-border complaint database IT-Tool;
- the ECC-Net also collaborates with other networks set up by EU such as SOLVIT, which is an alternative mechanism for solving the problems of domestic market of the European Economic Area, and often the considered problems are associated with residence permit, border crossing, recognition of professional qualifications and education, mutual recognition of goods, freedom of entrepreneurship, unfair conditions in the public procurement tenders, which discriminate against applicants or goods from other EU member states. Similarly, the ECC-Net collaborates with the FIN-Net, which is a network for solving problems of financial services.