Purchased an item on holidays that turns out to be faulty? The European Consumer Centre can help – Hayes
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 then 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 the last annual report, the ECC in Ireland received 3,503 contacts from consumers. 695 complaints – that’s almost 20% of these complaints – required further assistance from the European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net). When these are examined further it is clear that air travel is once again the top area of complaint. Other areas of complaints that have made it into the top five are electronic goods, car rental, entertainment (for example, sporting tickets, vouchers, or TV broadcasting), and online services.
“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” concluded MEP Hayes.