UK consumers will
be able to shop for services in Europe with renewed confidence as
Consumer Minister Kevin Brennan launched a new free service
informing them of their rights.
The European Consumer Centre for Services (ECCS) is a website and
telephone service which provides general information on consumer
laws and rights when buying a service in other European countries.
It will go live on Tuesday 29 December.
The services that UK consumers can get advice on include:
· Tourism services such as hotels, timeshares and car hire;
· Construction services such as architects, builders,
electricians, and plumbers;
· Estate agents and letting agents;
· Private education providers such as language schools;
· Accountancy services and lawyers
The ECCS will make it easier for consumers to make more informed
choices and give them more confidence when buying from an
unfamiliar source. The portal will also have contact details of
organisations that could provide practical assistance in the case
Consumer Minister Kevin Brennan said:
“Knowledgeable, confident consumers are much more likely to get a
fair deal and get the right result when things go wrong. This is
even more important when dealing with unfamiliar laws in a
“The European Consumer Centre for Services will allow UK
consumers to shop for services in other EU countries with confidence”.
Trading Standards Institute chief executive Ron Gainsford said:
“We are delighted to host the European Consumer Centre for
Services alongside the existing EC centre providing advice and
support for UK consumers shopping across the internal market.
These ECC initiatives complement the work trading standards do in
this country, sharing our aim to empower consumers to make more
The European Consumer Centre for Services will be linked to the
existing European Consumer Centre (ECC) which deals with consumers
that have bought goods or services in Europe and have a problem
with that contract. Both offer advice on rights when buying from
another country in the European Economic Area – the European Union
plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
Notes to Editors
1) Consumers can visit www.ukecc-services.net
The website includes an online contact form which can be used to
submit questions and enquires.
2) The ECCS will also offer information and advice over the
telephone on 0845 608 94 94. Lines are open Monday to Friday 10:00
am to 3:00 pm, closed bank and public holidays.
3) Alternatively you can email the ECCS directly at email@example.com.
4) The European Consumer Centre for Services will be delivered by
the Trading Standards Institute and is funded by the Department
for Business Innovation and Skills. It has been set up as a
requirement under article 21 of the EU Services Directive which
comes into force on 28 December 2009. You can read about the
Directive here: www.bis.gov.uk/servicesdirective
5) Best practice for business is provided through the
Businesslink website www.businesslink.gov.uk/consumersrights
to help educate and train their staff on key consumer rights.
Department for Business, Innovation & Skills
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building a dynamic and competitive UK economy by: creating the
conditions for business success; promoting innovation, enterprise
and science; and giving everyone the skills and opportunities to
succeed. To achieve this it will foster world-class universities
and promote an open global economy. BIS - Investing in our future.
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