Health & Consumer Voice - September/October - 2012 Edition
European consumers are missing out on the benefits of the EU’s Small Claims Procedure because it remains relatively unknown and poorly enforced, despite being a quick, easy and efficient way to resolve cross-border disputes.
The Small Claims procedure has been in place since 1 January 2009. It can be used in cross-border disputes over goods and services where the value concerned is less than €2000.
Health and Consumer Commissioner John Dalli said he was «disappointed to see such a low level of assistance» for consumers who have tried to use the procedure.
According to a recent report by the European Consumer Centres’ Network (ECC-NET), 40% of European consumers who had encountered a problem buying goods or services in the last 12 months had not found a solution. Many national judges are unaware of the procedure and positive rulings are often not enforced in the consumer’s home country.
The Commission will: