News item

Winning the 2012 Games - what consumers should know

MedalsConsumer advice organisation the UK European Consumer Centre (UK ECC) is taking action to empower consumers against rogue traders who could be keen to see European consumers parted from their  hard-earned cash when they visit the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and who could have the potential to dent consumer confidence.

The UK ECC is urging consumers visiting the UK during summer 2012 to take steps to be aware of their rights. The group has produced a booklet covering accommodation, ticket purchases, eating out and buying goods in the UK to help empower consumers in order to avoid problems – it is downloadable from the publications section of www.ukecc.net  A special area has also been created on the UK ECC website - Winning the 2012 Games – what you should know – accessible from the UK ECC website homepage at www.ukecc.net

Jed Mayatt, UK European Consumer Centre manager, said: “Many people have been looking forward to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games as one of the sporting highlights of their lives. If rogue traders start to flourish, we want to ensure that consumers - both in the UK and those visiting the UK from elsewhere in the European Union and beyond - understand their rights.

“During summer 2012, hundreds of thousands of people are expected to descend on London and the rest of the UK for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. We want to help all visitors ensure that their stay goes without a hitch. There are so many possible pitfalls – either with accommodation, eating out, fake tickets, or buying goods in the UK – but consumers need to be on their guard. We want all visitors to the UK to have good experiences.”

The booklet covers the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982, breach of contract, section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, the EU Consumer Sales Directive 99/44/EC and the Limitations Act 1980.

In November 2011 the UK ECC spread the message of National Consumer Week - Good Sports Don’t Fake It! – by urging consumers to beware of fake ticket websites and to understand their rights when they shop online. Good Sports Don’t Fake It! aimed to alert consumers to fakes and cons that could exist around the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

In various local authorities around the country, Trading Standards are currently busy reminding those in the hotel business to make sure they describe their accommodation and facilities accurately on websites, especially in the run-up to this summer’s London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games - http://www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/extra/news-item.cfm/newsid/858

TSI's chief executive Ron Gainsford said: "Trading standards are working hard with other authorities to stop rogues ruining our enjoyment and hurting honest business.

“There are plenty of very good hotels, hostels and b&b’s available, but we have a real concern that terrible accommodation could tarnish the image for all and leave a bitter taste in the mouth of many London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games visitors.

"We want consumers to be aware of fake accommodation websites and misleading descriptions with
self-assessed star ratings – what seemed a great deal could turn to disappointment if it turns out the accommodation is substandard or worse doesn’t exist.

“Check, double check and check again before you book to be sure the accommodation exists and genuinely has the star rating that it claims."

The UK ECC is part of the European Consumer Centre Network (ECC-Net) - with 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.

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.


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Notes to Editors
For further information please contact UK European Consumer Centre’s press office on 08456 08 96 06.
• UK European Consumer Centre – 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.