Free, personalised help for consumers having problems with cross-border purchases in the EU, Iceland or Norway The European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) comprises 30 centres in all 28 EU Member States, Iceland and Norway. These centres offer free and personalised information, advice and assistance to consumers having problems with cross-border transactions in another country within the network. The network helps citizens to ensure that their consumer rights are respected and to reap the benefits of the Single Market.
This ECC-Net Quality Charter will explain how we will try to assist you and the service standards you can expect from us.
Increasing trust in EU cross-border commerce The mission of the European Consumer Centres (ECC-Net) is to provide free help and advice for consumers across the EU, Norway and Iceland, for those having problems with cross-border purchases. Fundamentally we contribute to enabling consumers to better understand and assert their rights as European citizens, and make the most of Europe’s Internal Market. Our mission is to make sure that cross-border commercial legislation is properly understood and respected. As such, it is a two-way process, as we also aim at increasing awareness of consumer rights among traders too. In practical terms, we help them to ensure that their products, services and practices meet all legal requirements when dealing with foreign consumers. In the case of disputes between consumers and traders, ECC-Net aims at finding compromises and establish relationships based on trust, equal treatment, transparency and confidentiality. As a network of 30 national Centres, ECC-Net endeavours to ensure effective communication and working relationships between the Centres. Each Centre aims at continuously improving the quality of the services, and increasing visibility individually as much as collectively – being a united, co-working network. ECC-Net has an additional role, which is that of supporting the improvement of policies and legislations. To that end the Centres collaborate with EU- and national-level authorities by identifying critical consumer rights issues, and anticipating necessary evolutions of the legislative processes. In this way, ECC-Net contributes to strengthening national and EU legal frameworks and implementation of consumer law.
What ECC-Net can do for you
Help and Advice for cross-border issues in the EU, Iceland and Norway. Our mandate is to deliver free information, advice and assistance on cross-border shopping in the EU, Iceland and Norway. We can:
- Advise you on consumer rights for shopping and travel under EU and national law;
- Give practical tips to help you save money and avoid problems;
- Help you with a complaint against a trader based in another EU country, Iceland or Norway for purchases made abroad – physically or online;
- Engage with the trader in order to try to resolve the problem;
- Advise you on further action if an amicable solution is not possible, such as out-of-court settlements, the European Small Claims’ procedure, or other legal action;
- Help you find a suitable organisation to handle your case if it needs to be taken further.
- Force traders to act. We rely on persuasion which works in at least half of the cases;
- Act as your legal representative;
- Handle your complaint if one of the involved parties is outside of the EU, Norway and Iceland.
The most frequent issues that ECC-Net deal with:
- Online shopping, covering cooling-off periods, delivery times, clear information and the 2-year legal guarantee;
- Buying goods and services including the 2-year guarantee, rights to repairs, replacements and refunds and the non-discrimination principle;
- Air passenger rights related to cancellations, delays and related assistance, denial of boarding and lost or damaged luggage;
- Package travel rights to information, to transfer a package to someone else, to a guaranteed price, and to choose an alternative package or a refund if the content changes;
- Car rental problems such as unclear information on prices and costs of optional extras, and unfair contract terms;
Timeshares/holiday clubs, including the right to receive all relevant information before signing a contract, cooling-off periods and related payment rules.