Empowering Consumers: 2013, a record year for the European Consumer Centres
The Network of European Consumer Centres across the EU handled more than 80,000 enquiries from citizens across the EU in 2013. This represents an increase of 11% compared to 2012.
Among the 80,272 contacts from consumers, the ECCs dealt with 32,522 complaints. The number of complaints increased by 9% compared to 2012.
Advice provided by the ECC network contributed to a positive outcome for consumers in two thirds of cases.
Around a third of all complaints concerned the transport sector. The largest hare concerned air transport (18.3%); however car rental is attracting an ever increasing number of complaints. The other top complaints received by the ECCs related to household equipment, problems related to the purchase of tickets for sporting and cultural events and time-share.
Just over 15% of the problems registered concerned the non-delivery of the purchased product or service and another 12% of the complaints cited defects in their purchase.
The increase in the number of consumers resorting to the ECC network is driven by a number of factors: an increasing knowledge among consumers of their rights; greater awareness knowledge of the ECC network; the increase in cross-border purchases and a general “crisis” effect, with consumers seeking the best deal and the best service.