2019 was a particularly challenging year for the UK European Consumer Centre (UK ECC) – probably the most challenging in our 12-year history.
A backdrop of Brexit meant that UK consumers continued to want the reassurance of the support and mediation provided by a specialist service such as ours. It meant that the intervention and case handling we provided was perhaps more important than ever for them as they saw the UK move into a future outside the EU. And it meant that our relationships with other consumer protection stakeholders played crucial roles in helping UK consumers in their disputes with EU traders.
Throughout 2019 we devoted a lot of time to stakeholder awareness – making sure that the right people in the UK Government were aware of the valuable service we deliver in order to have the best chance of securing our future, so that we could continue to help UK consumers resolve their cross-border disputes after the end of the EU-Exit transition period.
Hosted at the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), the UK ECC employs 11 staff in Basildon, Essex, and is currently joint-funded by the UK Government and the European Union. It is the only service of its type available to UK consumers.
Throughout all of this upheaval, consumers remained at the heart of everything we did in 2019. We helped almost 10,000 UK consumers throughout the year- they joined the almost 100,000 other UK consumers we had already helped since 2007.
Click here to read the full UK ECC Annual Report 2019. It gives a breakdown/analysis of the types of problems UK consumers experience and shows a spotlight on some of the cases we dealt with in 2019.