Consumer network recovers over €4m for buyers during the pandemic

The bigger share of the queries were about tourism, with many complaints about breaching air passenger rights

Photo: EU Didier Reynders.

Over €4m in compensation for consumers whose rights were breached due to Covid-19, from March 2020 to March 2021, were recovered with the help of the European Consumer Centre Network (ECC Net). The ECC-Net answered 170 000 requests for information, an increase of 44% compared to the same previous 12 month period and70,000 queries out of them were directly related to the consequences of Covid-19. 

The share of queries about tourism were 93%, of them 45% - about air passenger rights, 21% - about cancelled accommodation and 17% - about package holidays.

The centres intervened to help consumers in 8,000 Covid-19-related cases in which traders had failed to respond to consumers seeking redress and 68% of cases were successfully resolved. The consumers received back their money for services that were cancelled or rendered inaccessible, or goods that were not delivered.

Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders commented that the pandemic has underlined the immense value of the network as it helps consumers have their rights respected. “It is also a source of information for consumers, national authorities and the Commission. Thanks to the network's input, millions of fraudulent listings could be removed from platforms,” the Commissioner added.

The ECC-Net was established in 2005 and is co-funded by the European Commission and Member States. It employs approximately 150 legal experts in 29 European countries to inform consumers about their rights in their native language, and to help them settle a dispute with a seller based in another EU country, as well as Iceland and Norway.

The network's experts advise consumers on alternative dispute resolution or consumer organisations that may be able to provide further help.

 

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