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Weekly Highlights

 2nd July 2010

The ECCS has seen another busy week, and are pleased to note the promotion of our new information leaflet can be found on the European Commission website. To receive a copy of our leaflet please contact us.

A representative of the ECCS presented at this weeks CENTSA meeting, regarding how the ECCS assists consumers and what can be expected under the services directive.

There has been a lot of talk in the news this week regarding the new roaming rules set out by the European Commission. As of Thursday 1st July, the data-roaming limit for travellers will be automatically set at 50 euro (41 GBP) excluding VAT (unless they have chosen another limit - higher or lower). For more information please see our news page.


26th March 2010

Last week the consumer adviser for the European Consumer centre for Services attended the European Consumer Summit, organised by the European Commission in Belgium.
The focus of the consumer summit was on ‘access, choice and fairness’ when buying Services.

Workshops took place to discuss the problems and solutions faced by European Consumers the key areas being:
• How to choose a services provider
• Sustainable mobility
• Green Energy
• Car Hire
• Web 3.0

Information and conclusions reached from the Summit can be found through: http://www.european-consumer-summit.eu/pictures.html

The ECCS has seen another busy week with an increase in consumer enquiries. Areas being focused on include timeshare resale and legal services that claim to be able to retrieve monies paid by consumers. One service claims to have been 'awarded the database of consumers details'. The ECCS advises consumers that unless you have given permission for your details to be passed then this practice may be suspicious. Should consumers have enquiries in regards to timeshare or related services then feel free to contact us for advice.


 

19th February 2010

 The European Consumer centre for Services were very pleased to welcome Baroness Crawley to the offices this week.  Baroness Crawley spent time with the European Consumer Centre for Services talking through the type of enquiries that we have dealt with and that we can deal with and also was shown a demonstration of the web site and what it can offer consumers.  

The steady flow of consumer enquiries continues,  the variety of subject matter is immense.  One interesting enquiry this week concerned Will Writing Services and how country's laws come into play when the will is read.  Issues can become complicated, for example if a will is written in one country but the consumer owns property in another country.  The EU Commission is aware that the situation can be complicated and work is being done to try and simplify these matters.  More information can be found at http://ec.europa.eu/news/justice/091015_en.htm 

The Executive for the European Consumer Centre for Services will be attending a course in Brussels on PR and Lobbying from 22nd - 24th February 2010.  There will be 20 in total attending the course from 12 different country's.

We will, in the next few weeks be able to supply leaflets and bookmark that describe what The European Consumer Centre for Services does and how to contact us.  If you would like a supply for your organisation or a copy for yourself please contact us.


22nd January 2010

The European Consumer Centre for Services has made an excellent start after its launch, offering advice to consumers who are looking to purchase services in the European Union.  Since opening we have already received over 30 enquiries from UK consumers looking for advice on their rights and details of who can help them in the case of a dispute.

Jane Negus, European Consumer Centre for Services Executive attended the celebration for successful implementation of the EU Services Directive. The event was hosted by the Department for Innovation and Skills and celebrated the launch of the portal (the European Consumer Centre for Services) and UKWelcomes (the single point of contact for businesses hosted by Business Link). The event was attended by Kevin Brennan the Minister for Consumer Affairs.

We’ve seen a variety of enquiries already including an enquiry from a UK consumer who has been looking to buy holiday services from a Spanish based tour operator. The Spanish website claimed that they are a fully bonded travel agent with a CIAN number, that was the equivalent of ABTA. The consumer, keen to ensure he is protected should a problem arise, contacted the ECCS to confirm that CIAN numbers are the equivalent to ABTA in the UK. On further research it would appear that CIAN numbers are Insurance numbers travel agents are obliged to display in Spain when trading, as opposed to being a member of a travel association like ABTA. The insurance is to cover consumers for up to 900 Euros should there be a problem.  We are still undergoing research to ensure that the consumer is confident in making his choice and purchasing this service across-border. The company are in the process of updating their website and hopefully this will lead to a successful contract between the consumer and the tour operator.

 

Funded by BIS

The European Consumer Centre for Services is hosted by the Trading Standards Institute and funded by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.