22.07.14 In-app purchases: Joint action by the European Commission and Member States is leading to better protection for consumers in online games

ID-10055365Following a large number of complaints in EU countries concerning in-app purchases in online games and in particular inadvertent purchases by children, national authorities joined forces with the European Commission to find solutions.

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23.04.14 Be careful with offers made by “Company High End Watches Eesti OÜ"!

ID-10078539The European Consumer Center Estonia warns about a fraudulent Estonian trader "Company High End Watches Eesti OÜ" who is offering very high-priced watches on different websites.

 

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14.04.14 Co-ordinated enforcement action leads to greater compliance with Consumer Rights on travel websites

online ticket sales sweepIn a concerted action by national consumer authorities co-ordinated by the European Commission an astonishing 382 out of 552 websites checked in 2013 did not respect European consumer law. As a result of vigorous enforcement action, 62% of the websites checked are now treating consumers as they should. The remaining 38% can expect further action against them as European authorities continue work to ensure that consumer rights are fully respected.

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18.03.14 European Consumer Day: Commission kicks off consumer awareness campaign

use consumer rightsWith household budgets under pressure, EU consumer policy is there to ensure not only that consumers are treated fairly – but that they can get the best deal possible. The European Union's efforts over the last year to strengthen consumer rights are having a positive impact on consumer confidence: a vital element in Europe's economic recovery.

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10.03.14 CHARGEBACK IN THE EU/EEA - a solution to get your money back when a trader does not respect your consumer rights

karteThe ECC-Net receives a great number of cross-border complaints from consumers each year having experienced that their rights have not been respected, mainly when shopping online.

A new report from the ECC Network has mapped the consumer rights and the alternatives in the EU/EEA-countries regarding the right to be reimbursed from the card issuing bank through a chargeback procedure.

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28.02.14 Commission and Member States to raise consumer concerns with app industry

onlineEurope's "app economy" is booming. It employs over 1 million people and is expected to be worth €63bn in the next five years. According to the external app analytics platform Distimo, around 80% of the revenue – estimated at over 10 billion EUR per year – of one supplier comes from purchases made by consumers from within an application by which consumers access special content or features, commonly called "in-app" purchases. For the app economy to develop its full potential and continue innovating, consumers need to trust the products.

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27.02.14 Buying a car in another EU Member State, Norway or Iceland. Where can you obtain transit plates and how much do they cost?

carWhen shopping for a new car, you may be interested in looking at available options in other member states for a better deal. Importing the car to your home country however involves several administrative and logistic stages. For more information, you should contact the competent authority in your home country.

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20.02.14 Empowering Consumers: A record year for the European Consumer Centres

ECC Net logo kvadratsThe Network of European Consumer Centres across the EU handled more than 80,000 enquiries from citizens across the EU in 2013.  This represents an increase of 11% compared to 2012.  

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13.12.13 New report shows fraud increasingly common in cross-border e-commerce

ECC Net logo kvadratsVilnius, 6th December 2013: A new report has shown that consumers increasingly encounter fraud when making cross-border purchases online. The European Consumer Centre Network (ECC-Net) set out to highlight the problems and risks faced by consumers when shopping online and to provide them with tips and practical advice on how to recognise and avoid scams.  The report, entitled “Fraud in cross-border e-commerce”, summarises problems reported by individual consumers to ECC-Net.

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02.12.13 Shopped online and want your money back? Commission Proposal on Small Claims helps consumers and SMEs

courtBought a new 3D flat screen television and never got it? Or did you pay your supplier abroad and he delivered a faulty product? Don't worry, there is a cheap way to claim your money back. The European Commission has today proposed to strengthen the position of consumers and businesses in low-value cross-border disputes.

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28.10.13 Improving cross-border consumer protection: The European Commission wants your views

ID-10025773Europe's 500 million citizens should get the same benefits from their consumer rights if they shop at home, in another European Union country or on-line in Europe. Today the European Commission has started a consultation with consumers, consumer protection organisations and business to see how best to strengthen consumer protection across borders.

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21.10.13 MORE UNIFORMITY NEEDED FOR ON-LINE TRUST MARKS ACCORDING TO THE ECC-NET

e-commerceIn its report “Can I trust the trust mark?”, the network of European Consumer Centres, ECC-Net,  provides consumers  with a panorama of 54 online trust mark schemes existing in the EU. The report details criteria to assess how  trust marks achieve their objective of guarantying that their members offer good commercial practices, security and privacy for consumers. The main problem is the lack of uniformity in the various features offered by these schemes, according to the ECC-Net.

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15.10.13 Better protection for EU Consumers downloading games, e-books, videos and music

sweep digitalThanks to the joint action of the EU Member States and the European Commission, 116 websites selling digital games, books, videos and music have been brought in line with the EU consumer legislation.

 

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24.07.13 Consumer Scoreboard: more action needed for a true single market for consumers

9cmsProtection of consumer rights still varies greatly between EU countries. Only 35% of Europeans are confident buying online from sellers in other EU countries and seven out of ten consumers do not know what do to when they receive products that they did not order.

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18.07.13 Interview with Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission and Justice Commissioner, on EU protection for holidaymakers

package travel 2013How does Europe help if something goes wrong on my holiday?

Vice-President Viviane Reding: The EU has rules that date from 1990 on booking pre-arranged package holidays. These rules protect consumers by making sure, for example, that holidaymakers will always get home even if a tour operator goes bust.

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11.07.13 From today new EU Rules are combating misleading information and putting safer cosmetics on EU shelves

cosmeticsAs of today, cosmetics on shop shelves, both manufactured in the EU and imported from third countries, should be fully compliant with the Cosmetics Regulation ensuring strengthened safety standards and providing better information for the consumers.

Neven Mimica, European Commissioner for Consumer Policy, said: "From daily essentials like toothpaste to that little luxury of a new lipstick or aftershave, consumers are now better protected and have clearer information about the cosmetics they buy. The new rules also make enforcement easier, bringing greater peace of mind and confidence in the products purchased."

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26.06.13 Vice-President Kallas launches new passenger rights information campaign

passenger logo 2013For the first time, millions of holiday-makers travelling in the EU this summer will be protected by comprehensive passenger rights – whether travelling by air or rail, and now also by ship, bus and coach. But research shows that two-thirds of passengers are not aware of their rights. For this reason, the Commission is launching a new campaign to inform the many people gearing up to travel this summer about their passenger rights, and how to claim them if needed.

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19.03.13 Commission seeks input on improving redress for consumers in cross-border claims

courtThe European Commission has today launched a public consultation on how to improve access to justice for consumers and small businesses in small-scale cross-border disputes. The European Small Claims Procedure offers a cheap and easy way to resolve cross-border disputes for amounts below €2,000, without complicated legal procedures. It can be used in cases where consumers need to enforce their rights, for example because of non-delivery of goods ordered from another EU country. But a report last year from the European Consumer Centres Network found that this user-friendly procedure is not yet widely known and is often under-used (IP/12/985). The European Commission is now asking for input from consumers, businesses and the general public on how the Small Claims Procedure currently operates and how it could be improved, simplified or modernised. The aim is to improve confidence in cross-border shopping, helping consumers and businesses make full use of Europe’s Single Market.

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13.03.13 Commission proposes new measures to strengthen air passenger rights

bagazaThe European Commission today announced a package of measures to ensure that air passengers have new and better rights to information, care and re-routing when they are stranded at the airport. At the same time there will be better complaint procedures and enforcement measures so passengers can actually obtain the rights to which they are entitled.

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12.03.13 A step forward for EU consumers: Commissioner Tonio Borg welcomes adoption of Out-of-court Dispute Resolution

handsCommissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, Tonio Borg, welcomed the vote of the European Parliament on Alternative Dispute Resolution and Online Dispute Resolution (ADR-ODR) today. This vote confirms the agreement on the two proposals put forward by the European Commission in 2011.

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28.02.13 EU Court: Passengers on connecting flights must be compensated when their flight arrives at the final destination at least three hours late

avioThe fact that the original flight was not delayed beyond the limits laid down by EU law does not affect the right to compensation

The Air Passenger Compensation Regulation(1) generally grants passengers assistance during a delay to their flight. In its judgment in Sturgeon and Others(2), the Court of Justice held moreover that passengers whose flights are delayed may also be compensated, even though the regulation expressly grants a right to compensation only when flights are cancelled, provided that they reach their final destination three hours or more after the scheduled arrival time. Such fixed compensation, of between €250 and €600 depending on the distance of the flight, is determined on the basis of the last destination at which the passenger’s arrival will be delayed after the scheduled time.

 

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20.02.13 72,000 EU consumers helped by European Consumer Centres in 2012 – Annual Report

report ecc net 2012 enToday at the European Parliament, in the context of an event hosted by Mr Malcolm Harbour, Chairman of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO), Tonio Borg, Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, will present the results of the 2012 Annual Report of the European Consumer Centres (ECCs). The Report shows that each year more and more consumers benefit from the information and assistance services provided by the ECCs, which are co-financed by the European Commission and by the national authorities in all EU countries, Norway and Iceland.

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07.02.13 Alternative Dispute Resolution in the Air Passenger Rights sector

adr airThe existence of a well-functioning ADR scheme is key for reaching a high number of mutually satisfactory solutions. This report by the ECC-Net aims to establish an overview of the current situation regarding ADR in the air passenger rights (APR) sector and to develop recommendations.

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03.01.13 “HAPPY TRAVEL LT“ was fined for unfair commercial practices in amount of 8000 LTL.

e-komState Consumer Rights Protection Authority taking into account 33 consumers’ complaints had handled the case of ,,Happy Travel LT” actions, which potentially broke the provisions of the Law on Prohibition of unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices of the Republic of Lithuania. Consumers not only from Lithuania, but also from Latvia and Estonia, whose complaints were forwarded by the European Consumer Centres of the mentioned countries, have complained regarding actions of this company.

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18.12.12 Alternative and Online Dispute Resolution soon to become a reality for European consumers

dispute resolutionCommissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, Tonio Borg, today welcomed the vote on Alternative Dispute Resolution and Online Dispute Resolution (ADR-ODR) in the Internal Market and Consumers Committee. This vote confirms the agreement reached between the European Parliament and the Council on the two proposals put forward by the European Commission in 2011. Member States will start implementing the ADR/ODR rules after their final adoption by Parliament, in the second quarter of 2013.

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06.12.12 E-commerce: when purchasing games, books, videos or music on-line, look out for unfair terms, warns the EU

digital contents-iconJust in time for the holidays and gifts shopping season, the European Commission today publishes the results of an EU wide screening of websites selling games, books, videos and music which can be downloaded to a computer or mobile device. The check shows that over 75% of these websites do not appear to comply with consumer protection rules. This is all the more worrying when vulnerable consumers, i.e. children, are targeted. Users have to click their way through a maze of contract terms, to find out how much they will eventually have to pay and children are frequently lured into purchasing items related to supposedly free games. In case of a problem, reaching the after-sales service is often difficult as contact information is missing in more than one third of the websites. National enforcement authorities will now contact the companies concerned to enable them to clarify their position or correct their website.

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30.11.12 Planning a skiing holiday?

ski resortSki Resorts in Europe 2012/2013

The ECC-Net (European Consumer Centres Network) is a European network consisting of 29 European Consumer Centres, representing all EU Member States and also Iceland and Norway. The network is co-funded by the European Commission (Health and Consumer Protection Directorate-General), the EU Member States, Iceland and Norway.

 

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23.11.12 Buying consumer credit on-line: following EU action, over 75% of websites checked now give satisfactory information to clients

sweep 2011Before consumers enter into a loan, they need to understand its real cost and take the time to reflect, especially on the monthly repayment. The Consumer Credit Directive lists the information that need to be given in advertising of credits and as part of credit offers and provides for a 14 days reflexion time, during which the consumer may back out of the agreement without charge. Following a crackdown on websites offering consumer credits, more than 3 out of 4 sites checked a year ago now comply with EU law (compared with only 30% in September 2011). Further improvements should come as national authorities pursue their actions on outstanding cases. In this EU co-ordinated "Sweep" investigation, which took place in September 2011, national enforcement authorities checked 565 websites across the 27 Member States, Norway and Iceland. Of the 70% of sites flagged for further investigation at the time, 10% were finally deemed compliant and 35% were corrected after action by national authorities. The remaining websites either no longer exist or are subject to on-going administrative or court proceedings.

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24.10.12 Consumers still face obstacles when shopping online

e-commerceBrussels 24th of October 2012: Many Consumers still experience problems when shopping online; this is shown in a new report released by The European Consumer Centre Network (ECC-Net). For the last two years, more than half of the cases received by the ECC-Net, 31 000 complaints, concerned online purchases.

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19.10.12 The EC is running a public consultation on the charging of the use of road infrastructure

ID-10094174The European Commission is running a public consultation on the charging of the use of road infrastructure. This consultation is part of the preparatory work to explore the scope for possible new Commission initiatives on road charging in 2013.

Questionnaires should be returned by 4 November 2012 at the very latest. However, stakeholders are warmly invited to submit their contribution as early as possible to facilitate the analysis of the answers.

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21.09.12 EU Consumers: settling small cross-border disputes without any hassle

courtHunting for cross-border bargains is a way for consumers to get the 'best deal' across the EU's internal market. Shopping online makes these bargains ever more accessible. But sometimes things can go wrong: there might be a problem with the goods or with delivery. To avoid difficult, costly and time-consuming legal procedures, the European Union is facilitating access to justice for consumers in Europe, so that they can effectively enforce their rights. The European Small Claims Procedure is one of the solutions available to resolve cross-border disputes in cases involving €2,000 or less. However, a new report from the European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net), released today, shows that this user-friendly procedure, available since 1 January 2009, is often under used. This is mainly because judges are not aware of the procedure - something the Commission intends to tackle vigorously.

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24.08.12 ECC-Net report on payment and currency charges finds 50% airlines

avioAccording to the European Consumer Centre Network’s report “The Cost of Paying” 73% of the airlines imposing payment card fees do not indicate the price supplement in a clear, transparent and unambiguous manner at the start of the booking process, as required by Article 23(1) of Regulation [EC] No. 1008/2008 on air services. As regards currency-related charges consumers are often vaguely informed, if at all, about the price increment that may result from paying in a different currency.

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23.07.12 European Commission publicises key consumer tips for visitors to the 2012 Olympic Games

stadium02Visitors to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will no doubt want to purchase many attractive goods and use all different kinds of services. It is useful for them to know that the EU has strict rules in place to protect the rights of consumers on its territory. Yet having rights is one thing; knowing them and knowing how to use them is quite another business.

 

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05.07.12 Passenger rights: new smartphone app to give you all your rights while travelling this summer

banner 250x250Passengers stranded at airports or awaiting missing luggage may now use a smartphone application to check their rights immediately and on the spot. Just in time for the summer holidays, the European Commission has launched an application for smartphones which covers air and rail transport and works on four mobile platforms: Apple iPhone and iPad, Google Android, RIM Blackberry and Microsoft Windows Phone 7. The app is available in 22 EU languages. It currently covers air and rail transport and will be extended to bus / coach and marine travel in 2013 when these rights come into force.

 

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05.07.12 Targeted Consumer Consultation about Quality of Tourism Services and Quality Evaluation Systems

ID-10094174The European Commission is currently working on the assessment of the potential impacts of the European Tourism Label for Quality Systems initiative.

The objective of this targeted consumer consultation is to receive the views of consumers about quality of tourism services and their awareness about quality evaluation systems within the European Union.

 

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04.07.12 Air travel: on 4th July, European Consumer Centres to champion Air Passengers Rights at 28 airports across Europe

aprs desks logo no date - video 2As the holiday season begins, passengers leaving from European airports should be confident about their rights in case of flight delays, cancellation or lost luggage. Tomorrow, at 28 airports across Europe1, European Consumer Centres (ECC-Net) will be at hand to offer advice to European citizens about their air passenger rights. The ECC-Net offers citizens free advice about their rights when travelling and shopping across borders. They can also help them solve problems with traders in another EU country (plus Iceland and Norway) when things go wrong.

 

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06.06.12 2011 Report reveals European Consumer Centres helped over 70,000 consumers get a better grip on their rights

2011 annual report bCases handled by the European Consumer Centres' Network (ECC-Net) in 2011 remained consistently high: more than 70,000 consumers received free help and advice. The ECC-Net has helped consumers in about 416.000 cases since its creation in 2005. Year on year, the pattern of complaints remained basically the same. The transport sector triggered the majority of complaints (32% of which 20% related to air transport services). Online purchasing was the selling method which caused most problems for consumers (56.6% of complaints).

 

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01.06.12 European Commission and UEFA launch "Consumer Tips" for fans travelling to EURO 2012

stadium02EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, John Dalli and UEFA President, Michel Platini launch an EU–UEFA consumer information campaign to advise fans travelling to the EURO 2012 Championship. A website, opened today, accessible from the UEFA Euro 2012 homepage, and from many other websites - including those of the European Consumer Centres -  offers tips on how best to prepare your trip and what to do if you have consumer problems when in (or back from) Poland.   (http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/health_consumer/uefa_euro_2012/index_en.htm). The Europe Direct Contact Centre services will answer any on-line query on general EU consumer rights in 23 languages while a consumer Infoline in English – operated by the Polish consumer organisation Federacja Konsumentów – will provide legal support to those who run into consumer problems in Poland. Posters about these services will be displayed for the benefit of fans at popular hotels.

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22.05.12 A new European Consumer Agenda – Boosting confidence and growth by putting consumers at the heart of the Single Market

es pateretajsConsumer expenditure, amounting to 56% of EU GDP, reflects the enormous power of the consumer to drive forward the European economy. Only empowered and confident consumers can fully exploit the potential of the Single Market and enhance innovation and growth. This is why the European Commission's strategic vision for EU consumer policy for the years to come – adopted today - aims to maximise consumer participation and trust in the market. Built around four main objectives the European Consumer Agenda aims to increase confidence by: reinforcing consumer safety; enhancing knowledge; stepping up enforcement and securing redress; aligning consumer rights and policies to changes in society and in the economy. It also presents a number of key actions to be implemented between now and 2014.

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21.05.12 Has your airline gone bankrupt?

avio problemasYour rights differ depending on whether you bought your tickets via a travel agency or directly from the airline. Below you can read more about your rights and options for filing complaints.

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08.05.12 Latest report on safety of products shows fewer dangerous items reaching the EU market

es pateretajsBrussels, 08 May 2012 - EU consumers want to be sure that the products – whether produced in the EU or imported from third-countries - are safe. The good news is that thanks to the increasing effectiveness of the EU's rapid alert system for non-food dangerous products ("RAPEX") dangerous products are detected earlier and more effectively and are more promptly removed from the EU market. This process involves a chain of actions including upstream efforts to design out risks at source, better risk assessment and close co-operation between EU authorities, notably customs, to identify risks at the points of entry.

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08.05.12 Citizens' rights: European Commission kicks off the broadest public consultation ever and asks citizens to set future agenda

ek consumerBrussels, 8 May 2012 – 9 May is Europe Day. This should be more than just a day of celebration for citizens. As of tomorrow, the European Commission will be calling on citizens all over the European Union to help set the policy agenda for the next years and shape the future of Europe in the biggest ever EU public consultation on citizens' rights. The consultation will be open for four months, until 9 September, during which time the public will be asked about the obstacles they face in exercising their rights as EU citizens, be it when travelling in Europe, when voting or standing as a candidate in elections or when shopping online. The public concultation comes ahead of the 2013 European Year of Citizens (IP/11/959). The input received from the public will feed directly into the Commission's policy agenda and form the basis for the 2013 EU Citizenship Report, to be presented in exactly one year's time: on 9 May 2013.

 

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26.01.12 Commission proposes a comprehensive reform of data protection rules to increase users' control of their data and to cut costs for businesses

ENBrussels, 25 January 2012 – The European Commission has today proposed a comprehensive reform of the EU's 1995 data protection rules to strengthen online privacy rights and boost Europe's digital economy. Technological progress and globalisation have profoundly changed the way our data is collected, accessed and used. In addition, the 27 EU Member States have implemented the 1995 rules differently, resulting in divergences in enforcement. A single law will do away with the current fragmentation and costly administrative burdens, leading to savings for businesses of around €2.3 billion a year.

 

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12.01.12 Stimulating growth and employment: an action plan for doubling the volume of e-commerce in Europe by 2015

Brussels, 11 January 2012 – The development of electronic commerce and online services offers enormous potential for beneficial economic, social and societal change. The Internet economy creates 2.6 jobs for every "off-line" job lost, and offers a better choice to consumers, including those in rural and isolated areas. The gains brought by lower online prices and a wider choice of available products and services are estimated at EUR 11.7 billion, equivalent to 0.12 % of European GDP. If 15 % of retail sales were e-commerce and the obstacles to the internal market were removed, the gains for consumers might be as much as EUR 204 billion, or 1.7 % of European GDP.The European Commission finds, however, that there are many obstacles preventing consumers and businesses from investing fully in online services: ignorance or uncertainty about the applicable rules, offers that lack transparency and are hard to compare, and payments and modes of delivery that are often expensive and unsuitable.

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10.01.12 EU investigates consumer credit websites - a market underperforming for consumers

Brussels, 10 January 2012 - Were you ever about to sign a contract for a personal loan, credit card, or other consumer credit and discovered that it was all working out more expensive than you had first expected? An EU-wide investigation of websites offering consumer credit took place to check whether consumers are receiving the information to which they are entitled under EU consumer law before signing a consumer credit contract. National enforcement authorities checked more than 500 websites across the 27 Member States plus Norway and Iceland. They flagged 70% (393) of sites for further investigation in relation to the following main problems: the advertising did not include the required standard information; the offers omitted key information that is essential for making a decision; the costs were presented in a misleading way. National enforcement authorities will now contact financial institutions and credit intermediaries about suspected irregularities and ask them to clarify or take corrective action. The sweep operation checked in particular how business is applying the Consumer Credit Directive (recently transposed in Member States), which aims to make it easier for consumers to understand and compare credit offers.

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01.12.11 Consumers: Commission puts forward proposals for faster, easier and cheaper solutions to disputes with traders

komBrussels, 29 November 2011 – In 2010, one in five European consumers encountered problems when buying goods and services in the single market. If a seller refuses to repair your laptop which broke down when under guarantee or if you cannot come to agreement with a travel agent over a refund for a ruined holiday, there are ways to sort it out without going to court. But, unfortunately, at this stage, out-of-court dispute resolution in the EU is possible only for some business sectors or in some areas.

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28.10.11 The volcanic ash crisis 2010 clearly shows - Air Passengers’ Rights needs attention

airplaneOn October 28th 2011, The European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) launches the report “Air Passengers Rights Report 2011 – in the aftermath of the Volcanic Ash Crisis”. The report focuses on several aspects regarding air passengers’ rights in the EU today, in particular during 2010.

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21.10.11 EU consumers rate poorly financial services and fuel markets

scoreboard_6Brussels, 21 October 2011 – Financial services, investments (including pensions and securities),  mortgages and real estate services are the markets which are the most likely to be failing consumers across the EU, according to the latest Consumer Markets Scoreboard. Among goods markets, second-hand cars and fuels have the poorest ratings. As in 2010, services markets continue to underperform, with financial services and network services all below average. Electricity supply and fuels have deteriorated most in comparison with 2010.

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17.10.11 In the event of cancellation of a flight, passengers may claim, under certain conditions, compensation for non-material damage in addition to that awarded for material damage suffered

cvria_picFurther, a passenger may claim compensation for cancellation of a flight where his aeroplane took off but, for whatever reason, was subsequently forced to return to the airport of departure and that passenger was transferred to another flight

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06.10.11 Major improvements for consumers when shopping online cross-border - but still some obstacles to overcome

picture_mistery_shoppingThe European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) launches the report “Online Cross-border Mystery Shopping - State of the e-Union” on 4 October 2011. The report reveals that in general consumers can be confident when shopping online across borders but it also shows obstacles that must be dealt with.

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29.09.11 Buying on the internet : it's now safer for consumers to shop for tickets online following EU action

online_ticket_sales_sweepBrussels, 29 September 2011 - Buying tickets for music and sporting events on the internet is now much less likely to end in tears, following a crackdown on problematic websites which sold tickets to non-existent events or which failed to explain whether the buyer would get a refund or not, if the event was cancelled. 88% of the websites selling tickets for cultural and sporting events, checked for breach of EU consumer rules, now comply with EU law (compared with only 40% in 2010), and further improvements can be expected as cases are brought to the courts. The EU co-ordinated "Sweep" investigation was launched in September 2010 by national authorities in all Member States, Norway and Iceland. The problems identified included: incomplete or misleading information about the price of tickets; unfair terms and conditions; incomplete or misleading information about the trader. Sites have been corrected, usually voluntarily, but in some cases penalties were imposed.

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12.08.11 ECC-NET has developed a summary on possibilities to return goods to a seller in EU Member states

maisinji2Very often we hear statements from consumers that in other places in the European Union (EU) in comparison with Latvia there are no problems to return already purchased goods to the point-of-sales and receive back already paid money, if the goods were not suitable according to the size, color or other arguments not related with the quality of the goods. The information summary on 23 EU Member states developed by the Network of European Consumer Centres (ECC-NET) showed that also in other EU countries the provision of the right of withdrawal when purchasing goods in an unaffiliated point-of-sales is a voluntary action of a company. Only in Lithuania such period of the right of withdrawal is stated by the law.
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08.07.11 Consumers: European Consumer Centres' Air Passenger Rights Day 2011.

aprs desks logo no date - video 2Holiday didn't go as planned? Flight cancelled? Lost luggage? Help is at hand.  The European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) offer citizens free advice about their rights when travelling and shopping across borders. They can also help them solve problems with traders in another EU country (plus Iceland and Norway) when things go wrong. In 2010, the Centres provided free help and advice in over 71,000 consumer cases, and helped consumers with complaints worth 14 million euros. Since many of the complaints they receive concern transport, in particular air travel, the Network has organised a special 'Air Passenger Rights Day' at 27 airports (23 countries ) across the EU. Under the motto 'Pack a little consumer know-how, Europe offers you free help and advice', they will provide advice and help on air passenger rights, for example in cases of cancellations, delays or baggage loss.
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21.06.11 Tell us your story! – Real-life stories on the EU's Single Market

es_pateretajsDid you work, travel or live abroad in the European Union? Did you expand your business cross-border or bought products on-line? Then YOU are the person we are looking for to share with us your experience when outside your home country.

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06.06.11 Safer shopping : European Consumer Centres help 71,000 EU shoppers in 2010

ECC_Net_logoHave you ever had problems getting a faulty product replaced or repaired, or getting a refund and assistance from the airline when your flight was cancelled? If you bought the product or service from a trader based in another EU country (as well as Norway or Iceland), a European Consumer Centre (ECC) in your country is there to help. In 2010, the ECC network (ECC-Net) provided free help and advice in over 71,000 consumer cases, up by 15% compared to 2009, according to the network's 2010 annual report. One in three complaints concerned transport, of which almost 60% were about air travel (partly due to the volcanic ash crisis). More than half of the complaints handled concerned online purchases.

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13.05.11 Safety of goods: Fewer dangerous products slipping through the net, while safety at source a key objective

rapexWhether a baby-stroller or a new pair of shoes, we all like to be sure that the products we buy in the EU are safe. The good news is that fewer dangerous products are reaching the EU market since such products are now identified and removed more readily. Thanks to the increasing effectiveness of the EU's rapid alert system for non-food dangerous products ("RAPEX"), a record 2,244 unsafe products were banned, withdrawn from the market or recalled from consumers in 2010 (up 13% compared with 2009), according to the 2010 annual RAPEX report published today. Member States have upped their game and European businesses are also taking their responsibilities in the consumer product safety area more seriously, with a marked increase (200%) in the use of the dedicated rapid alert system for business ('GPSD Business Application'). Safety at source has become a key focus – with attention now moving right back to the factory floor (design and manufacturing), and work with international partners is growing, in particular with China.

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06.05.11 ECC advices how to recognize an internet fraud

fraudMore and more people let themselves get attracted and pay thousands of EUR in advance for goods which they ordered via internet from abroad, but which they will never receive. They become victims of frauds or scams when willing to buy e.g. a car, notebook, mobile phone or a tractor for a very favourable price. The European Consumer Centre provides several pieces of advice how to easily check the particular trader from who a consumer wants to buy. It is not possible to eliminate the risk of fraud entirely, but it is possible to minimize it – with the help of cautious behaviour.

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21.04.11 The ECC-NET has worked out the summary information for the drivers travelling through Europe

atruma_zimeIn March 2011 the European Consumer Center Network (ECC-NET) has gathered information on what should be taken into consideration when travelling around the European countries by car or bicycle. Often the travellers, while planning their trips, work out their own sightseeing routes and use their own or rented vehicle to travel. To avoid the undesirable situations it is particularly important to obtain information regarding road traffic regulations and restrictions, since the requirements may differ in different European countries.

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14.04.11 Consumers' awareness and skills worryingly low, survey finds

es_pateretajsAccording to a Eurobarometer study published today on the occasion of the 2011 European Consumer Summit, less than 50% of EU consumers surveyed felt confident, knowledgeable and protected as consumers. Empowered consumers find it easy to identify the best offer, know their rights and seek redress when things go wrong. Vulnerable consumers find it hard to understand the choices they face, don't know their rights, suffer more problems and are unwilling to act when things go wrong.

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11.03.11 Consumer policy: Scoreboard shows recovery in consumer conditions, finds cross-border shopping trusted more once tried

scoreboradThe spring Consumer Scoreboard published today by the European Commission shows a clear recovery in consumer conditions in nearly all EU countries after the steep decline in 2009. The annual index of consumer conditions is measured e.g. by consumer trust in authorities, NGOs and retailers and the effectiveness of handling disputes. The Scoreboard also confirms a growing gap between domestic and cross-border e-commerce, despite a clear potential of cross-border purchases in terms of choice and savings. But the study suggests that consumers are much more confident in  cross-border shopping once they have tried it. There are important obstacles to cross-border e-commerce on the supply side, with fewer retailers selling across national borders compared with 2009.

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18.01.11 Consumers: Cheaper, faster, easier ways to settle disputes without going to court

courtA Greek consumer was charged by his bank twice while shopping in London. A Greek ADR led to the bank refunding the second charge to the consumer. In another case, a French consumer shopping in France asked to withdraw from a contract but was charged a €150 penalty. Following a French ADR the consumer was able to withdraw from the contract without charge.

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25.10.10 Make your voice heard! Answer to questionnaire about ECC-NET

eccThis questionnaire is part of the preliminary research for a new promotional campaign for the ECC-Network. Your answers will remain anonymous and confidential and will not be used for purposes other than for this study. In recognition of your help, we are offering you a chance to win an overnight trip to the next European Consumer Summit in Brussels"

The questionaire is available here.

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18.10.10 European Consumer Centres - 5 years at the service of European consumers

eccHave you ever ordered online, paid for the goods and never received them? Then the European Consumer Centre can be of help to you. Between 2005 and 2009, the European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) handled almost 270.000 contacts with EU consumers who turned to them for advice or help on cross-border shopping, according to the ECC-Net 5th anniversary report published by the European Commission today. The number of annual contacts has been rising steadily, from about 43.000 in 2005 to over 60.000 in 2009. The annual value of amicable settlements of complaints with traders (in reimbursements and compensation for consumers) reached € 3.5 million in 2008. The European Commission and Member States co-finance the ECC-Net which offers consumers free legal advice and assistance in every EU country as well as Norway and Iceland. Online purchases continue to be the main source of complaints for cross-border consumers: in 2009 they represented more than half (55.9%) of all complaints received.

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18.10.10 Cross-border consumer complaints about e-commerce – problems unsolved

e-commerceThe European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) launches the sixth report “The European Online Marketplace: Consumer Complaints 2008-2009” on October 11, 2010. The report shows that a total of 8,032 (in 2008) and 8,885 (in 2009) consumer complaints and disputes were received by the ECC-Net, out of which 42 % and 55 % respectively dealt with e-commerce claims. In comparison, according to the ECC-Net case handling statistics for 2007, there were a total of 5,192 consumer complaints and disputes out of which 50% concerned e-commerce.

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07.06.10 The watchful eye of traceability

partikaCitizens nowadays are more demanding than ever with their food. They want high-quality and tasty food and expect safe food that also meets their ethical values. For years traceability has been working to ensure that these various consumer needs are met.

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18.05.10 The Court confirms that the liability of air carriers for loss of baggage is limited to €1134.71

bagazaThat limit is absolute and includes both material and non-material damage. Under European Union law1, the liability of a Community air carrier in respect of passengers and their baggage is governed by the Montreal Convention2. Thus, that convention provides that the liability of a carrier in the case of destruction, loss, damage or delay of baggage is limited to the sum of 1000 Special Drawing Rights (SDR) for each passenger (a sum equivalent to approximately €1134.71)3, unless a passenger has made, at the time when the checked baggage was handed over to the carrier, a special declaration of interest in delivery at destination and has paid a supplementary sum if the case so requires. In that case, as a rule a carrier is liable to pay a sum not exceeding the declared sum.

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21.04.10 Volcanic Ash Crisis: Frequently Asked Questions

w-iceland-volcano-RTR2CT8HThe purpose of this memo is to respond to the most frequently asked questions concerning the current volcanic ash crisis, notably in relation to the Commissions role in opening up Europes airspace, while fully respecting safety requirements, to passenger rights and to the economic response for sectors hit by the crisis.

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16.04.10 Air travel: volcanic ash cloud - EU passenger rights continue to apply

w-iceland-volcano-RTR2CT8HSpeaking today following the closure of airspace and airports in more than 8 EU counties including Ireland, UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland, due the volcanic eruption in Iceland, European Commission Vice President Siim Kallas responsible for Transport said: "The volcanic ash cloud is a very significant threat to air safety.

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16.04.10 Annual RAPEX Report 2009 shows efficiency of EUs cooperation on dangerous products

The number of dangerous consumer products notified through the EUs rapid alert system for non-food dangerous products (RAPEX) rose by 7% in 2009 compared to 2008, the Commissions annual RAPEX report shows today. This rise from 1866 notifications in 2008 to 1993 last year shows that the capacity of the RAPEX system has increased again in 2009, following more effective market surveillance by Member States

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06.04.10 Consumer Markets Scoreboard exposes barriers to better deals and a decline in consumer conditions

europThe spring Consumer Markets Scoreboard published today by the European Commission reveals that EU consumers are still not reaping the full benefits of the internal market due to barriers to cross-border commerce. There is a growing gap between cross-border and domestic e-commerce.

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06.04.10 Risks from cords and drawstrings in childrens clothing

metelisWhen EU consumers buy clothes for their children they should not have to worry about safety risks. A recent EU market surveillance exercise, checked in particular, the safety of childrens clothes with cords and drawstrings, with which there can be a risk of strangulation, especially for children up to 7 years.

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03.03.10 Make Your voice heard! Answer questionnaire for European Consumer Summit 2010

summit Due to European Consumer Summit 2010, European Commission has prepared questionnaire in order to find out consumer opinion about different currently actual and disputable issues during the summit.

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14.01.10 Design a poster for Europe Day 2010: help us choose a winner!

eiropas_dienaDynamic. Diverse. Unified. Imaginative. That’s the spirit of Europe, evoked by 10 posters created to celebrate Europe Day, 9 May 2010

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