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A day in the life of a consumer advisor

A day in the life of a consumer advisor
Profile of Laura Johnston, ECC UK Consumer Advisor Laura Johnston, a consumer advisor at ECC UK, previously worked at the UK government-funded Consumer Direct consumer advice service. Her current role involves providing advice to consumers, via telephone, e-mail and letters. If consumers need further legal advice, she provides ongoing support and keeps consumers updated with the progress of their case. ECC UK handles many legal cases, and Laura says this presents numerous challenges, in particular passing on information to consumers – and also traders – in an easy-to-understand way. "Translating something that’s legalistic into something that’s easily understandable is the...
18 Dec 2017
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10 Tips for a successful trip to Europe

10 Tips for a successful trip to Europe
Holidays are a great time to buy things that may be expensive in the UK or are just a little different or quirky, but what happens if you have problems later?The UK European Consumer Centre is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month (December 2017), and since the beginning more than 84,000 consumers from all over the UK have sought help from the UK ECC with their consumer rights. As part of the celebrations for the UK ECC's 10th anniversary, the UK European Consumer Centre has put together 10 tips for a successful trip to Europe:  10 tips for a successful...
15 Dec 2017
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How EU legislation has improved consumer protection in the last 10 years - part one

How EU legislation has improved consumer protection in the last 10 years - part one
The consumer advice organisation UK European Centre takes a look The UK European Consumer Centre is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Over that time hundreds of thousands of consumers have sought the help of national European Consumer Centres in 30 countries as they've encountered problems with traders based in Europe. Everything connected with the 10th anniversary links to the campaign theme of '10', designed to reinforce the essential message that consumers have been seeking the help of European Consumer Centres with problems for the last 10 years. To support the anniversary, the UK ECC (part of the ECC Network), has taken a...
15 Dec 2017
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Case Study - Masturbation Aid

Case Study - Masturbation Aid
A UK man paid 249 Euro for a masturbation aid device online from a trader based in the Netherlands.  After delivery, the consumer inspected it and decided that it wasn’t what he wanted, so contacted the trader to ask for a full refund. The trader said that they wouldn’t accept the item back because it was not sealed in its original packing, referring him to their stated terms and conditions which said that they wouldn’t accept opened or used items for return.Andy said: “The consumer argued that under the EU Consumer Contracts Regulations he was allowed to return goods bought...
15 Dec 2017
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A word from the Chartered Trading Standards Institute

A word from the Chartered Trading Standards Institute
Leon Livermore, Chief Executive of the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, said:"The UK European Consumer Centre is an invaluable frontline advice service we should all be proud of when we look back at achievements of the last 10 years. In an age where buying goods from overseas has never been easier, it's important that consumers feel there's somewhere they can turn to for support if something goes wrong."
14 Dec 2017
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A word from the European Commission

A word from the European Commission
Jolanta Brozyna of the European Commission has a few words on this milestone for the UK ECC."Congratulations to the UK European Consumer Centre (UK ECC) in its 10-year anniversary for its outstanding contribution to ECC-Net, and our gratitude for its unremitting commitment to service excellence and remarkable efforts in empowering consumers. ECC-Net is a network composed of 30 centres across Europe, the 28 EU Member States, plus Iceland and Norway. Last year alone, more than 10,000 consumers based in the UK received assistance from the UK ECC. In fact, no other country in the entire network registered more contacts than...
14 Dec 2017
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Memories of the UK ECC Launch

Memories of the UK ECC Launch
Memories of Adrian Simpson, former Consumer Advisor at UK ECC (now Assistant Director of Consumer Policy, Home Insulation and Energy Contractors Scheme).================================================== After many months of putting together the website, learning the European Commission's new complaints handling system and navigating the quirks and politics of a scheme that could only come from a scheme consisting of 27 different European Member States, the ribbon was ready to be cut, and the minister was on his way to CTSI. In a way that we really appreciated, Consumer Minister Gareth Thomas MP was close to our then unchartered Trading Standards Institute (now Chartered Trading...
14 Dec 2017
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Case Study - Human Fingers

Case Study - Human Fingers
A UK lady bought some dog food from a German seller online. To her surprise, when she opened one of the cans, she found ‘human fingers’ inside. She contacted the UK ECC in order to report the matter.Andy said: “The case was an interesting one as the consumer simply wanted to report the matter. We informed our counterpart office in Germany so that they could make contact with the local authorities to make a formal report. “The other issue was that, understandably, the consumer did not want to store the offending items in her own fridge, but realised that the fingers...
14 Dec 2017
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We are 10!

We are 10!
The UK European Consumer Centre is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month (December 2017). Over the course of 10 years, the UK ECC has played a vital role in empowering consumers, helping them to gain a better awareness of their rights and take full advantage of the internal market. Our strength is in numbers: the UK ECC is part of the European Consumer Centre Network – 30 centres covering Europe, plus Iceland and Norway. We are a practical manifestation of the single market for consumers Andy Allen, UK ECC Service Director, said: “Our aim is to help as many UK...
13 Dec 2017
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Case Study - Hair Transplant

Case Study - Hair Transplant
A UK man paid 4,200 Euro for a hair transplant to be done in Hungary. The work carried a guarantee. The consumer carried out all of the post-operative advice, including massaging his hair, but said that after at least six months the operation hadn’t worked and that his hair regrowth was patchy. The consumer contacted the trader, who said that the guarantee wasn’t valid because their doctor had already advised the consumer that the transplant was not likely to work all over his head. Andy said: “The consumer approached the UK ECC for help, saying that the treatment hadn’t been...
13 Dec 2017
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