Sonia Payne, UK European Consumer Centre Legal Advisor, said: "There are always the same old chestnuts in terms of complaints, but some rather more obscure complaints also crop up from time to time. Consumers are often at their most vulnerable when they are short of money and are on the hunt for a bargain. Quite naturally, they may also have their guard down and be more trusting when they are making their travel plans as they are often already 'in the holiday mood.' If the purchase is made whilst the consumer is already on holiday they may be out of their usual comfort zone.
"Our aim is to help as many UK consumers as possible who encounter problems with a trader based in Europe, to achieve a resolution: a refund, replacement, repair or cancellation of their contract. But we also want to do everything we can to try to ensure that UK consumers know what their rights are when travelling elsewhere in the EU."
More information and examples of the successful work of the ECC are available here: http://www.ukecc.net/sub.asp?itemID=334
The UK European Consumer Centre is part of the European Consumer Centre Network (ECC-Net) of 29 centres covering Europe, plus Iceland and Norway. The aim of the network is to provide advice and support to consumers who have a dispute with a trader based in a European country outside the UK, as well as providing assistance in resolving complaints.
In addition, the centre provides advice on the following main areas: buying goods and services, online shopping, internet auctions, holidays, timeshare and holiday clubs, air travel.
UK ECC is co-funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), and the European Commission.
• For further information visit the website: www.ukecc.net – or phone on 08456 04 05 03 weekdays between 10am and 3pm.
In doubt before you buy? Then contact the UK ECC's sister organisation – the European Consumer Centre for Services – for pre-purchasing advice: www.ukecc-services.net