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
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 in Europe (the EU as well as Iceland and Norway).
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.
We are part of a wider Network of Centres known as the 'European Consumer Centre Network' or 'ECC-Net' for short. We have a counterpart office in all 28 countries of the EU plus one in Iceland and one in Norway. We work together to resolve pan-European consumer complaints.
When a case is shared with another ECC, 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 our counterpart office, there will be no need for you to make any further contact with the trader. Our counterparts 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 our counterparts are unable to resolve your case they will suggest other avenues that may be suitable for you.
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.
- We can only advise where the company is based in another European country.
- 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.