Getting In Touch
The UKICC offers free and impartial advice to UK consumers experiencing issues buying goods or services from businesses based in other countries. We deal exclusively with cross-border disputes between UK Consumers (i.e. individuals) and non-UK Busineses. Our various Contact Options are listed below.
PLEASE NOTE: If you have an issues with a purchase from a UK-based Business, please contact our partner organisations - the Citizen's Advice Consumer Service, or its equivalents in Scotland and Northern Ireland - who wil be better-placed to help. Full details can be found on the Consumer Help page of the Chartered Trading Standards Institute website.
Our Step-by-Step Guide to Resolving a Dispute
Before contacting the UKICC about a specific dispute you have with a non-UK business, we ask that you please follow these simple steps. Doing so, may help resolve your issue quicker. And it will make it easier for our advisors to understand your case - and decide what they can do to help.
STEP 1: Think it Through and Write it Down
When you enter into a dispute with a business (especially one based in another country), the first thing we recommend you do is gather your thoughts and jot the key points down on paper. This then becomes your Ready-Reference for whenever you enter into any correspondence with the business in the future.
Write down what has happened so far - in the simplest possible terms - and what you'd like the business to do to resolve the matter. Also, make sure you have a record of the Business Name, their Contact Details (including their physical address, telephone number, email address and their website) and the names of anyone you have dealt with. Apart from providing you with a concise memory aid during your interactions with the business, your Ready-Reference will also help you explain your case to others (including the UKICC, if necessary), at a later date.
STEP 2: Gather Your Evidence
Gather together all the evidence you can to support your case. This may include a list of Relevant Dates, any Confirmation Emails, Receipts or Despatch Notes you received, your recollections of any Conversations you have had (keep your notes brief) - and anything else you think might support your version of events. If you're dealing with an otherwise reputable business, facts backed-up with firm evidence should persuade them that you're within your rights to request a resolution. And, if the company turns out to be less than reputable, any evidence you provide may be used by us or one of our Partner Organisations (based in the country the business is based in) to pursue the case further.
STEP 3: Contact the Business Yourself
This is very important! The UKICC can only advise you on a dispute once you have made every effort to resolve the matter yourself. Use your Ready-Reference to outline your case - whilst always remaining friendly, understanding and polite in any correspondence (at this stage, try to give them the benefit of the doubt).
If you're not communicating in their own language, it is vital to stick to plain English. Remember, the person dealing with your query might not understand the English language as well as you do. So, use simple, fact-based language. Also, if you (or they) use online translation tools, plain English is less likely to lead to ambiguity or you seeming unintentionally rude. This informal approach will also act as evidence of your attempts to resolve the situation in a "friendly and reasonable way" - particularly if we have to intervene on your behalf at a later date.
However, if your initial attempts don't achieve a satisfactory response, send them a formal Letter of Complaint (preferably in the post, via recorded delivery). For tips, please consult our quick-guide to Writing a Good Letter of Complaint. Or use one of our topic-based Letter Templates, adapting it to your individual circumstances. In most cases, this more formal approach will persuade them to take you seriously and seek to come to an agreement. However, if the business STILL refuses to offer an amicabe resolution - or continues to avoid or evade you - that's when you should contact us.
STEP 4: Contact the UKICC
Once you have tried the above - and have made both informal and formal attempts at resolving your dispute yourself - then, please get in touch with us. One of our Consumer Rights Advisors will provide you with a Case Reference Number and will then determine what we can do to help. While we can't guarantee a positive outcome (some rogue traders are simply beyond reach), we will do all we can to help you sort it out.
Feel free to get in touch by email, online message or by post (see below). Our aim is to provide a completely open and Accessible service to all UK Consumers. Also, please ensure that all letters and emails are cleary addressed to the UK International Consumer Centre - and, where appropriate, enclose your Case Reference Number, to avoid unnecessary delays in our response.
Submit an Online Complaint:
Our staff will aim to get back to you within 2-3 days - although it might take longer during particularly busy periods.
Send us an Email:
Click to open your default email program (if available) - or copy and paste UKICC@tsi.org.uk into your email. Currently, 90% of email enquiries receive an initial response within 2 days.
Or contact us by Post:
Please ensure your letter is clearly addressed to 'UKICC - Consumer Helpdesk' - so it reaches our advisors without delay.
- We are a FREE SERVICE. We usually get involved when consumers have exhausted their own efforts to resolve a dispute directly with the trader. We are often able to get a more positive response from the trader than the consumer will have done alone.
- As we only give advice and assistance we cannot force a trader to give the consumer what they want if, ultimately they refuse to do so. We can however then go on to advise the consumer of any other steps they could take to enforce their consumer rights.
- You will receive a response from us within a maximum of 8 working days of your initial enquiry. At times of high demand, this may take longer. We will respond to you as soon as we can.