This page aims to explain our remit and processes so that you have a better understanding of how we work and what to expect from us.

How your query will be handled

Free Advice

We provide free and impartial advice in the event of a cross-border consumer dispute where the consumer is resident in the UK. A 'cross-border' dispute is a dispute between a consumer and a trader where each party is based in two different countries.

Assistance

If the advice we provide does not resolve your case, we will in certain circumstances be able to contact the company on your behalf. We call this 'mediation' and although we cannot guarantee a successful outcome, we will always try our best to get your case resolved.

Our Process

We work closely with a wider Network of Centres known as the 'European Consumer Centre Network' or 'ECC-Net' for short. There are offices in all 27 countries of the EU plus one in Iceland and one in Norway. We work closely with these to resolve pan-European consumer complaints. 

When a case is shared with a centre, we require certain information from the consumer to allow our counterpart office to make a full legal assessment of the case. This information varies although we will always let you know what we need from you.

Once a case has been passed to the office in the trader's country, there will be no need for you to make any further contact with the trader. If the centre accepts a case from us, they will inform the trader of your complaint and what their responsibilities are under law.

We will keep you informed of any new developments in your case as and when they happen. If the centre are unable to resolve your case they will suggest other avenues that may be suitable for you.

We will also endeavor to advise and assist where the trader is based outside of the EU.

Points to Remember

  • Our role is to provide advice and assistance - we cannot compel a company to trade in a certain way.
  • To ensure speedy handling of your case, please have your reference number to hand when contacting us.
  • If your complaint or enquiry falls outside our scope we will always suggest a more appropriate organisation for you to contact.
  • Our remit is to provide advice on law - we cannot advise on how likely your case is to succeed nor can we provide an opinion.
  • We cannot investigate a trader nor close down a trade premises or website.
  • Where we are aware of a breach in criminal consumer law, we will endeavour to inform the relevant authorities.