ECC-Net 10 years: European Consumer Centres have helped thousands of consumers

  • European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) is celebrating its 10th anniversary. During its operation since 2005, consumer centres have received more than 650 000 information requests from consumers about EU consumer rights – an increase of 30% during 2012-2014. In addition, the network has over the years helped about 300 000 consumers in their cross-border trade-related complaints. The vast majority of complaints now concern cross-border e-commerce.

    The number of complaints has seen a 16% growth in 2012-2014. More than two-thirds of the complaints have been resolved amicably between consumers and traders.

    European Parliament in Brussels commemorated on 2.6. European Consumer Centres Network’s 10 years of operation. At the same time a report “The European Consumer Centres Network – 10 years serving Europe’s consumers” was published, which describes the network over the years, subjects and quantities of the complaints, and also offered country-specific statistics and examples of consumer experiences of each EU country, Iceland and Norway. Finland has participated in the European Consumer Centres Network from the beginning of its operation, since 2005.

    More than two thirds of the complaints relate to e-commerce

    More than two thirds of the complaints received by the ECC-Net today are about cross border e-commerce, reflecting the interest of consumers in a well-functioning Digital Single Market. Estimates suggest that consumers could save massive amounts – around 12 billion euro a year – taking advantage of the full range of goods and services available on-line in the EU.

    The ECC-Net has become an expert in e-commerce problems and phenomena. ECC-Net also plays an important role in promoting the development of an information strategy of the Digital Single Market. In 2014 there were more than 3.5 million visits to the websites of various Centres.

    On 2 June 2015, at the European Parliament in Brussels, Commissioner Jourová said: “Consumer policy is high on the Commission’s agenda given its important contribution to the Juncker Commission’s priority projects. A strong and coherent consumer policy is crucial in reaping the full benefits of the Digital Single Market-for both consumers and businesses. With more and more consumers shopping online, the ECCs’ role in resolving cross-border disputes will become more important than ever in advising consumers, and ensuring that their rights are upheld and that they can have full trust in the digital economy”.

    Demand for the service has increased in Finland

    European Consumer Centre Finland recorded more than 2,600 new consumer contacts in 2014, which meant 44% growth over the previous year. An amicable solution was reached in 50% of cases received for conciliation, which is a good average level of the European Consumer Centres Network. Most common subjects of complaints in Finland were related to online shopping and air travel. In 2014, most complaints in Finland regarded Estonian and German companies.

    Although not everyone is shopping online, a significant number of Finnish consumers have found European markets and their wide selections and competitive deals. The European Consumer Centre Finland is proud that, over the years, we have been able to help thousands of Finnish consumers to take advantage of the European shopping places and also to get their money back in possible problem situations. We hope that more and more consumers find our services for receiving information regarding online shopping and a travelling from our website and social network, and as concrete and free of charge to help in problem situations. “says Director Leena Lindström of European Consumer Centre Finland.

    More information (report + infographics):