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UK European Consumer Centre

Media round-up

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The UK ECC has made a good start to maintaining its media profile in 2018 with a TV appearance on BBC One’s Rip Off Britain and a radio interview on BBC Radio Ulster’s On Your Behalf consumer programme.

Rip Off Britain 

The European Small Claims Procedure is a relatively unknown procedure which is a way for consumers to enforce their rights in resolving cross-border disputes in cases involving less than €5,000.

Andy Allen, UK European Consumer Centre (UK ECC) service director, said: "The European Small Claims Procedure can be used as a last resort if nothing else has worked. It is designed to avoid difficult, costly and time-consuming legal procedures.

"European consumers should feel secure when buying goods and services in the single market without facing extra risks. In case of problems, if consumers have been unable to sort the difficulty out themselves, they can ask their European Consumer Centre for advice and support, but ultimately they should be able to pursue their European Small Claims through the courts quickly and easily."

Watch UK ECC consumer advisor Adam Mortimer being interviewed (from 29 minutes, 30 seconds) on BBC One's Rip Off Britain and find out how the European Small Claims Procedure can help.

BBC Radio Ulster’s On Your Behalf

UK ECC consumer advisor Laura Johnston addresses the question: ‘When is a free trial not a free trial?’ The answer is... when you find out that you've signed up to a recurring payment for future products.

'Subscription traps' can occur when consumers unwittingly sign up for repeated payments for purchases online, often for beauty-type goods.

Laura told listeners that there are some specific red flags to look out for when signing up for free trials online. She said: "A free trial is always an invitation or enticement to get you into a longer contract. Having to give payment details should ring alarm bells because once a company has got these details, it is something they can use again in the future."

For more information on subscription traps - including what the Consumer Contracts Regulations mean for you - listen in to Laura's interview (from 34 minutes and 30 seconds).

And check out our consumer checklist if you have ordered samples or accepted an offer which has led to being stuck in a subscription trap. 

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