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UK European Consumer Centre

 ECC-Net 10th anniversary survey answers 

The UK European Consumer Centre (UKECC) is part of the European Consumer Centre Network, which is 10 years old this June.  This Spring (2015) consumers over the age of 16 were invited to take part in an online survey launched as part of the networ's 10th anniversary.  Here are the answers:. 

Questions and answers.

 

Can you take Small Claims legal action across European borders?

Answer: Yes. The European Small Claims Procedure can only be used for cross-border cases within the European Union (except Denmark). Court should always be the last resort and every effort should be made in trying to resolve a complaint yourself before starting your claim.

See the UK ECC's new 'European Small Claims Procedure' booklet on the UK ECC website.

What was the cost per minute of making an international voice call within Europe in 1998?

Answer: 1.63 Euro. Thanks to the EU Roaming regulation, which was adopted in 2007 and last revised in 2014, there is a limit to what your operator can charge you when you use your mobile phone in another EU country. These maximum prices apply to all consumers unless they opt for special packages offered by operators. They exclude VAT.  

See more information on the roaming in Europe page on the UK ECC website.

What is the cost per minute of making an international voice call within Europe (in 2015)?

Answer: 0.19 Euro. The EU Roaming regulation was last revised in 2014, bringing the maximum price your operator can charge you when using your mobile phone in another EU country (with the exception of special packages chosen by consumers) down to 0.19 Euro (excluding VAT).

See more information on the roaming in Europe page on the UK ECC website.

Do you have the right to change your mind if you've bought something at a distance (telephone, mail order or internet)?

Answer: Yes. Under the Consumer Contracts Regulations, consumers shopping at a distance have a 14-calendar day cooling-off period, stating the day after the goods have been received – during which a contract can be cancelled for any reason, including a change of mind.

Consumers must notify the trader of the cancellation and can then expect to receive a reimbursement within 14 days. Unless otherwise stated in the terms and conditions, the return fee is payable by the consumer.

Find out more in the UK ECC's new 'Buying something in the EU?' booklet on the UK ECC website.

In which year did a European law come into force to give international rail passengers protection if a train is delayed?

Answer: 2009. European legislation came into force in December 2009 to offer better protection to the millions of rail passengers travelling throughout Europe every day. It applies to international passenger services in all European countries.

The rules are designed to enable people to travel in safety and comfort and result in more reliable and higher-quality rail passenger services. Under EC regulation 1371/2007, if your train is cancelled or delayed, you may be entitled to compensation,  reimbursement or re-routing depending on the length of the delay.

You may also have a right to refreshments and overnight accommodation. The regulations do NOT apply to UK domestic rail services. Eurostar services are covered.

See the UK ECC's new 'Trains, planes, cars and boats' booklet on the UK ECC website.

Can traders charge more for a travel ticket (such as train or airline) depending on where the consumer lives or where the ticket is bought?

Answer: No. It is prohibited for travel operators to charge more for a travel ticket depending on where a consumer lives, under the following legislation:

Flights - Regulation 261/2004;

Rail - Regulation 1371/2007;

Bus/coach - Regulation 181/2011;

Maritime - Regulation 1177/2010.

How many days' 'cooling-off period' are consumers allowed when buying timeshares if they change their mind?

Answer: 14 daysThe EU Timeshare Directive (2008/122/EC), introduced in 2011, was adopted by the EU to address loopholes and weaknesses following major marketplace developments which fell outside the original Timeshare legislation (1994).

The directive aims to prevent “pressure selling” by allowing a 14-day cooling-off period where withdrawal is possible and money deposits are not allowed, with no cancellation costs incurred. The rules apply to all forms of holiday accommodation, including boats and other moveable property such as cruise ships, canal boats and caravans. It gives minimum standards for consumer protection throughout the EU in four separate areas:

 Specific timeshare products

 Longer-term products such as holiday clubs

 Resale of timeshare or holiday club memberships

 Exchange services

Find out more in the 'timeshare and holiday clubs' section on the UK ECC website.