During the pandemic, a larger number of consumers than ever before have turned to the European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) in cross-border problem situations. During the period running from April 2020 to April 2021, ECC-Net has helped European consumers of 8,000 cases concerning corona-related complaints, where consumers have been entitled to compensation for e.g., cancelled flights and where the consumer had not made any positive progress with the company. 68% of these cases ended in an amicable settlement and consumers have received more than EUR 4 million in compensation for services that had been cancelled or could not be used due to the pandemic situation or for products that had not been delivered.
In addition to complaints that lead to mediation, the ECC-Net receives a large number of general inquiries from consumers about their rights in different situations. The number of these consumer queries to the ECC network increased by 44% compared to the previous corresponding period. More than 90% of the queries were related to travel.
The Commission established the European Consumer Centres Network in 2005. The network is tasked with providing free-of-charge legal advice to EU consumers who are experiencing problems with a company situated in another EU Member State, Norway or Iceland. The network also engages in cooperation with the UK International Consumer Centre.
The European Consumer Centres have no coercive measures at their disposal, and their activities are based on consumer advice and mediation of individual disputes between the consumer and the trader. The European Consumer Centres also report on their observations to the Commission and the EU consumer protection authorities.
ECC Net statistics for the duration of the corona pandemic