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UK European Consumer Centre

How EU legislation has improved consumer protection in the last 10 years - part three

Balloons with decals of the UK ECC happy birthday onThe consumer advice organisation UK European Centre takes a look 

Here is the third batch of consumer rights we want to report on:

Timeshare, Long Term Holiday Products, Resale and Exchange Contracts Directive 2008/122.  Implemented in UK Timeshare, Holidays products Resale and Exchange Contracts Regulations 2010 – implemented in UK 23 February 2011.

The directive gives minimum standards for consumer protection throughout the EU in four separate areas: specific timeshare products, longer-term products such as holiday clubs, resale of timeshare or holiday club memberships, and exchange services. It gives consumers the right to receive specific information regarding contracts for timeshares etc and gives a 14-day cooling-off period where withdrawal is possible and money deposits are not allowed. The rules apply to all forms of holiday accommodation, including boats and other moveable property such as cruise ships, canal boats and caravans. Check out the 'timeshare and holiday clubs' section on the UK ECC website.

European Small Claims Procedure 861/2007 implemented in the UK on 1 January 2009.

The procedure formalises the procedure for making cross border legal claims up to the value of €5000. Consumers using the procedure may need to pay a fee to the court, which they may get back if they win. There is no need to engage a solicitor and the whole process can be carried out on paper. See the UK ECC's 'European Small Claims Procedure' booklet, which is being updated later this December (2017).

Consumer Credit Directive 2008/48 - UK implementation Consumer Credit (EU Directive) Regulations 2010.  

The directive strengthens and extends consumers' rights when entering into credit agreements. It means that lenders must assess the creditworthiness of consumers before setting up a credit agreement or increasing the amount of credit under an existing agreement, using a credit reference agency where necessary. Consumers have the right to withdraw from a credit agreement within 14 days, without giving any reason. If a customer's debt is sold on, the creditor who buys the debt must ensure that the customers is informed of this. The consumers' right to full repayment is extended to partial early repayment. Any variation of interest rate must be notified to the consumer before the change takes effect.

Details about more of the EU legislation which has improved consumer protection over the last 10 years will follow throughout December (our 10th anniversary).

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