European Consumer Centres 2005-2015: 10 years serving Europe's Consumers
2015 marks the 10 years anniversary of the network of European Consumer Centres (the ECC- Net) established in all 28 Member States of the European Union, Norway and Iceland and co-funded by the EU consumer Programme. Over the last 10 years, ECCs received more than 650,000 requests for information about their EU consumer rights - up 30 % between 2012 and 2014, and assisted about 300,000 consumers to deal with specific complaints relating to a cross border purchase– up 16 % in the same period. More than two thirds of these complaints could be resolved in an amicable manner between consumers and traders.
On 2 June 2015, at the European Parliament in Brussels, launching an exhibition highlighting the ECC-Net achievements, 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”.
The ECC-Net promotes the understanding of EU consumers' rights, and assists in resolving complaints about purchases made in another country of the network, when travelling or shopping online. In the last decade, with the steady development of tourism within the EU and of e-commerce, the ECC-Net has become key to assisting consumers and traders make the most of the Single Market: in 2014, there were over 3,5 million visits to their web sites.
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 is therefore an important element to promote and inform on the progress of the EU Digital Single Market Strategy just adopted by the European Commission, as it relates to online retail trade.
The European Consumer Centre Italy
The European Consumer Centre Italy is the Italian contact point of the ECC-Net. Co-financed by the Ministry of Economic Development and the Provence of Bolzan, is hosted by Adiconsum together with Centro Tutela Consumatori e Utenti and it has its main office in Rome and another one in Bolzano. Legal experts provide professional advice to consumers buying goods and services across Europe; passengers’rights, ruined holidays, online frauds: between 2005-2014 ECC Italy assisted more than 11.000 Italian consumers and more than 9000 european consumers. The centre plays a key role in informing consumers on his rights by creating and spreading out thematic guides and leaflets, by writing news items, by carrying out awareness compaigns such as the helpdesks at the Italian airports joined with Adiconsum. This initiative has been considered a best practice from the European Commission and repeat in the other Member States.
The website www.ecc-netitalia.it, continuously updated and divided into thematic sections, provide basic explanations of your consumer rights answering to simple questions. The online complaint form helps you to send your complaint to ECC Italy in a easy way.
ECC Italy can be reached by phone (06.44238090 Rome office/ 0471 980939 Bolzan office) or personal visit from Monday to Friday, 9.00 am – 5.00 pm.
Website: www. ecc-netitalia.it
Read the ECC-Net anniversary report 2005-2015