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Case Study - Masturbation Aid

Case Study - Masturbation Aid
A UK man paid 249 Euro for a masturbation aid device online from a trader based in the Netherlands.  After delivery, the consumer inspected it and decided that it wasn’t what he wanted, so contacted the trader to ask for a full refund. The trader said that they wouldn’t accept the item back because it was not sealed in its original packing, referring him to their stated terms and conditions which said that they wouldn’t accept opened or used items for return.Andy said: “The consumer argued that under the EU Consumer Contracts Regulations he was allowed to return goods bought...
15 Dec 2017
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A word from the Chartered Trading Standards Institute

A word from the Chartered Trading Standards Institute
Leon Livermore, Chief Executive of the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, said:"The UK European Consumer Centre is an invaluable frontline advice service we should all be proud of when we look back at achievements of the last 10 years. In an age where buying goods from overseas has never been easier, it's important that consumers feel there's somewhere they can turn to for support if something goes wrong."
14 Dec 2017
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A word from the European Commission

A word from the European Commission
Jolanta Brozyna of the European Commission has a few words on this milestone for the UK ECC."Congratulations to the UK European Consumer Centre (UK ECC) in its 10-year anniversary for its outstanding contribution to ECC-Net, and our gratitude for its unremitting commitment to service excellence and remarkable efforts in empowering consumers. ECC-Net is a network composed of 30 centres across Europe, the 28 EU Member States, plus Iceland and Norway. Last year alone, more than 10,000 consumers based in the UK received assistance from the UK ECC. In fact, no other country in the entire network registered more contacts than...
14 Dec 2017
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Memories of the UK ECC Launch

Memories of the UK ECC Launch
Memories of Adrian Simpson, former Consumer Advisor at UK ECC (now Assistant Director of Consumer Policy, Home Insulation and Energy Contractors Scheme).================================================== After many months of putting together the website, learning the European Commission's new complaints handling system and navigating the quirks and politics of a scheme that could only come from a scheme consisting of 27 different European Member States, the ribbon was ready to be cut, and the minister was on his way to CTSI. In a way that we really appreciated, Consumer Minister Gareth Thomas MP was close to our then unchartered Trading Standards Institute (now Chartered Trading...
14 Dec 2017
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Case Study - Human Fingers

Case Study - Human Fingers
A UK lady bought some dog food from a German seller online. To her surprise, when she opened one of the cans, she found ‘human fingers’ inside. She contacted the UK ECC in order to report the matter.Andy said: “The case was an interesting one as the consumer simply wanted to report the matter. We informed our counterpart office in Germany so that they could make contact with the local authorities to make a formal report. “The other issue was that, understandably, the consumer did not want to store the offending items in her own fridge, but realised that the fingers...
14 Dec 2017
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We are 10!

We are 10!
The UK European Consumer Centre is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month (December 2017). Over the course of 10 years, the UK ECC has played a vital role in empowering consumers, helping them to gain a better awareness of their rights and take full advantage of the internal market. Our strength is in numbers: the UK ECC is part of the European Consumer Centre Network – 30 centres covering Europe, plus Iceland and Norway. We are a practical manifestation of the single market for consumers Andy Allen, UK ECC Service Director, said: “Our aim is to help as many UK...
13 Dec 2017
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Case Study - Hair Transplant

Case Study - Hair Transplant
A UK man paid 4,200 Euro for a hair transplant to be done in Hungary. The work carried a guarantee. The consumer carried out all of the post-operative advice, including massaging his hair, but said that after at least six months the operation hadn’t worked and that his hair regrowth was patchy. The consumer contacted the trader, who said that the guarantee wasn’t valid because their doctor had already advised the consumer that the transplant was not likely to work all over his head. Andy said: “The consumer approached the UK ECC for help, saying that the treatment hadn’t been...
13 Dec 2017
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Subscription trap - Case Study

Subscription trap - Case Study
This is the scenario of a typical subscription trap case at the UK ECC.  Mr S bought a trial supplement online early in 2017.  He didn't read the terms and conditions and it seems that there was an ongoing subscription.  He made two payments and received two lots of goods. The trader then deducted a third payment but Mr S said he did not receive the goods associated with this sum. Mr S asked his bank to recover the third payment, which was successful, and the contract with the trader was cancelled. The trader than demanded payment for the third parcel but...
30 Nov 2017
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Subscription traps

Subscription traps
Many social media users will have seen adverts and offers that appear too good to be true. Some such offers relate to free trials of products from diet pills or supplements, to tooth whitening to face creams.  But what is sometimes behind the scenes is the intention of the company to use this attractive initial offer as a means to extract money from people’s bank accounts.  This is usually done in the form of an ongoing subscription.  These companies rely on the fact that consumers can be blinded by these great offers and as a result don’t read the terms...
27 Nov 2017
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Is it a contract?

Is it a contract?
Did I make an enforceable contract when I emailed to say 'yes' to renting a villa? That was the question put to the UK European Consumer Centre in a media enquiry from the Daily Telegraph's consumer champion Gill Charlton. A consumer was sent details about a villa in Sicily after submitting a reservation request by email. He confirmed by email that he would take the villa. Several days later, before the consumer had had time to pay the travel agency's invoice, his wife discovered that she couldn't travel and the consumer emailed the agency to say he wouldn't be taking...
21 Nov 2017
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