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Background

Consumer complaints

Consumer complaints helps monitor how internal market works for consumers. They are essential to the Consumer Markets Scoreboard which identifies failing markets from a consumer perspective.

Dissatisfied consumers can address directly the retailer and/or a third-party organisation dealing with consumer complaints - national authorities, consumer organisations, regulators, alternative dispute resolution bodies, etc.

National authorities and third-party organisations in all EU Countries collect complaints. With broadly similar goods and services offered across the EU, differences in arrangements are significant. Direct comparisons are impossible even if methodologies did not diverge.


Harmonisation

A harmonised methodology adopted by numerous national third-party organisations will give Member States a fuller picture of their consumer markets.

It can also be valuable to consumer associations. Many lack resources to develop complaint-handling methodologies and tools. This affects their ability to influence the policy agenda early.

Regulatory bodies such as competition authorities and sectoral regulators (telecommunications, energy, financial services) will also benefit from the harmonisation.