News item

New UK ECC booklet shows how consumer protection in the EU has changed

Cheaper mobile calls . . . passenger rights . . .
better protection for online purchases

New UK ECC booklet shows how consumer protection in the EU has changed

Consumer protection has changed dramatically in the past 20 years in the UK. But just how many UK consumers realise that a significant amount of these improvements are due to the EU?

It’s 40 years since the UK joined the European Economic Community (now known as the European Union - EU) and 20 years since the European Single Market became a reality. Now the UK European Consumer Centre has published a new booklet outlining some of the main improvements in consumer protection over the past two decades.
 
Andy Allen, UK European Consumer Centre (UK ECC) Director, said: “Although the EU is never far from the news, just how many UK consumers understand the positive impact that the EU has had on our lives? Significant progress has been achieved over the last 20 years in giving EU citizens better consumer rights: in everything from our means of travel to how we make purchases. We decided that the 20 year anniversary was a suitable time to highlight how the EU has helped consumer protection change for the better.

"This legislation has very definitely changed things for the better, but when things go wrong, consumers still need help and advice. Even here, it is because of the EU that the European Consumer Centre Network (ECC-Net), of which the UK European Consumer Centre is part, was introduced. There are 29 centres within the ECC-Net, covering Europe, plus Iceland and Norway. The aim of the network is to provide advice and support to consumers who have a dispute with a trader based in a European country outside the UK. The network assists consumers in the attempt to resolve the complaint."

Here are the main areas touched on in the UK ECC booklet:

• Shopping online
• Making cheaper mobile calls
• Protection when shopping
• Passenger rights (air, rail, bus and coach)
• Timeshares and holiday clubs
• Package travel
• Consumer advice and redress

The UK European Consumer Centre's booklet, called 'Consumer protection in the EU – what you should know', is now published on the UK ECC website. Many of the areas touched on in the booklet have their own dedicated booklet or area on the website.
ENDS
Notes to Editors

For further information please contact UK European Consumer Centre’s press office on 08456 08 96 06.


• UK European Consumer Centre consumer complaint line – 08456 04 05 03

The UK European Consumer Centre is part of the European Consumer Centre Network (ECC-Net). There are 29 centres covering Europe, plus Iceland and Norway. The aim of the network is to provide advice and support to consumers who have a dispute with a trader based in a European country outside the UK. The Network will assist consumers in the attempt to resolve the complaint.

UK ECC can provide advice in the following main areas: buying goods and services, online shopping, internet auctions, holidays, timeshare and holiday clubs, air travel.

UK ECC is co-funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), and the European Commission.

The UK ECC service is delivered by the Trading Standards Institute (www.tsi.org.uk)

Media queries should sent to ecc@tsi.org.uk or by phone on 08456 08 96 06.

• The UK ECC provides advice and support to consumers who have a dispute with a trader based in a European country outside the UK and will assist consumers in the attempt to resolve the complaint.

• Consumers can make contact with the UK European Consumer Centre via the website – www.ukecc.net – or by phone on 08456 04 05 03 weekdays between 10am and 3pm.

• If in doubt before you buy, contact our sister organisation – the European Consumer Centre for Services – for pre-purchasing advice: www.ukecc-services.net

DATE: 12 June 2013