Lord Lindsay, President of the UKICC’s host body the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, says that the UK International Consumer Centre is playing an essential role in empowering consumers, helping them to gain a better awareness of their rights and providing them with support when they need it most.
His statement comes as the UKICC celebrates the news that the UK Government has confirmed funding for the service for the next 12 months.
He says: “The UKICC is unique in that it helps UK consumers when they’ve got problems as a result of purchases outside the UK. Since it was formed in 2007, the centre has handled more than 150,000 cases of problem purchases for UK consumers – that’s a huge number of UK consumers who would be floundering if it wasn’t for the UKICC.
“Even though the UK has left the EU, the UKICC is still consistently dealing with large number of cases from UK consumers in dispute with EU traders. Many people are resuming their travel plans now that the COVID-19 restrictions have been cut and so we expect UK consumers to continue to need the help of the UKICC well into the future.
“With the challenges after Brexit, COVID-19 recovery and new markets being explored, we thank Her Majesty’s Government for recognising that UK consumers need the help of the UKICC. Consumers need to be confident and feel protected in taking the opportunities created by trade with the EU and non-EU consumer markets as they open up and this announcement will help that.
“The UK International Consumer Centre’s growing partnerships – and reciprocal arrangements - with consumer organisations all over the world aim to support the resolution of disputes between UK consumers and traders based abroad. The availability of such support results in more confident and empowered UK consumers, making use of global markets.
“With possible divergence from EU consumer law and new global markets becoming accessible, it is great news that the UK Government has recognised that this is clearly not the time for the loss of such an important service.”
Consumers can make contact with the UK International Consumer Centre via the website – www.ukecc.net – or by phone on 01268 886690 Monday-Friday between 10am and 4pm.