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Consumers flock to the UK European Consumer Centre for help

Posted 07/12/16

  • Figures show a 27.8% increase in consumers asking for advice and support

More and more consumers are turning to consumer advice organisation UK European Consumer Centre for help when they have a dispute with a trader based in a European country outside the UK.

Figures show that last year there was an increase of 27.8% cases being dealt with by the UK ECC (part of the European Consumer Centre 30-strong network), showing that there is no doubt that consumers increasingly need help when they find themselves in trouble dealing with trader-related purchases.

Andy Allen, service director at the UK ECC, said: “Every year consumers find themselves in dispute with companies over problems with purchases such as timeshares and discount holiday clubs, transport  (including air travel and car rental) and recreation and culture (including ‘sold-out ticket’ events). But last year that was a big increase in people seeking help.

“There could be several reasons for this rise in volumes: more trips are being made to Europe by UK residents and they are also spending more money whilst abroad.

“Another explanation for the increase in volumes is that there also seems to be a greater public awareness of the ECC-Net’s service, illustrated by the rise in the number of people contacting us, coupled with a growth in website traffic and newsletter subscriptions over the course of 2015.”

2015’s busy year saw the UK ECC dealing with 12,985 cases and enquiries, an increase on the previous year’s figure of 10,156. This includes cases we deal with on behalf of European consumers about UK traders.

In the year to December 2015, according to the ONS’ International Passenger Survey from the Office of National Statistics, visits to Europe went up by 10%, whilst UK residents spent 12.4% more when they were in Europe.

UK consumers can use the advice and support of the UK European Consumer Centre if they have a dispute with a trader based in an EU country outside the UK – 01268 886690 between 9am and 5pm or http://www.ukecc.net/

The UK ECC’s aim is to help as many UK consumers as possible who encounter problems with a trader based in Europe, to achieve a resolution: a replacement, repair, refund or cancellation of their contract.


Notes to Editors

The UK European Consumer Centre is part of the European Consumer Centre Network (ECC-Net). There are 30 centres in the EU, 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 Chartered Trading Standards Institute www.tradingstandards.gov.uk

  • Consumers can make contact with the UK European Consumer Centre via the website – www.ukecc.net – or by phone on 01268 886690 weekdays between 9am and 5pm.
  • If in doubt before you buy, contact our sister organisation – the European Consumer Centre for Services – for pre-purchasing advice: www.ukecc-services.net

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