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More UK consumers ask the UK European Consumer Centre for help

Posted 13/06/17

Figures show a 18.2% increase in consumers asking for advice and support.

More and more consumers are turning to consumer advice organisation UK European Consumer Centre (ECC) for help in sorting out disputes with traders based in a European country outside the UK. 

UK European Consumer Centre's figures show that we dealt with 18.2% more cases in 2016, as a new report by the Office of National Statistics showed that UK residents made 8% more overseas trips that year. 

Andy Allen, service director at the UK ECC, said:"As well as consumers visiting abroad more often, more of these visits were to EU countries (75% in 2016 compared to 73% in 2015). As the UK ECC deals with complaints linked with EU traders, this is likely to have an impact on the number of people asking for our help." 

Consumers complained to the UK ECC most about:

  • transport;
  • recreation and culture;
  • restaurants, hotels and accomodation

Andy said: "There’s no doubt that transport difficulties cause UK consumers the most headaches and can cover a whole range of difficulties on all modes of transport - planes, trains, cars and boats. And if you have a transport problem at the start of your trip abroad, it means that your holiday has got off to a bad start.

Check out the UK ECC's Annual Report 2016 on the UK ECC website for a more in-depth look at our work.

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 top three categories of complaint of transport; recreation and culture; restaurants, hotels and accommodation are based on 'assistance cases'. These are cases which required further help from our European Consumer Centre counterparts with a view to contacting the trader in the country in question on behalf of the consumer. These are cases where the consumer has tried to resolve their problems but attempts have failed. 
  • The UK ECC Annual Report 2016 can be found here: http://www.ukecc.net/
  • The Office of National Statistics report can be found here:https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/leisureandtourism/articles/traveltrends/2016

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, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the European Commission. The UK ECC service is delivered by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute https://www.tradingstandards.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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