Fine Gael Dublin MEP, Brian Hayes has highlighted to Irish citizens travelling abroad this summer to be aware of their consumer rights and the support structures that are in place when purchasing goods in another EU country.
“70% of Irish people who go on summer holidays remain within the EU. Those on holidays often purchase clothing and electronics or avail of services such as hotels and restaurants. However, not many people are aware of the services that the EU has in place to protect them against faulty products or poor services.”
“Every EU Member State has a European Consumer Centre (ECC) whose job it is to resolve complaints between consumers and traders in different EU countries. When necessary the ECC can liaise directly with a trader via its sister centre in the country of purchase.”
“For example – You are on holidays in Spain and purchase a camera which stops working when you return to Ireland. You have emailed the shop but have failed to receive an adequate response or have language difficulties. You can contact the ECC who will advise you or make representations on your behalf via the Spanish ECC. The same entitlement applies if you purchase the product online.”
“In its last Annual Report the ECC in Ireland has supported 3,279 consumers and obtained refunds of over €80,000. The biggest areas of complaints were air travel, car rental, electronic goods and clothing. When faulty items are purchased in Ireland you simply return it to the shop but this is not possible when the seller is in another country. The ECC provides a valuable service and I would encourage consumers to avail of their services if they find themselves in the position of purchasing faulty products.”
The Irish European Consumer Centre is based in Dublin and can be contacted on 01-8797620 or via their website www.eccireland.ie ” concluded Mr Hayes