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Which industry did Irish consumers complain about most in 2013?

No prizes…
Aug 29th 2014, 10:18 PM 20,991 8

OVER 40% OF all complaints made by Irish people to a European watchdog here last year were made about airlines.

Overall, the European Consumer Centre Ireland (ECCI) handled 3,279 contacts in 2013, a 1.4% drop on 2012.

Of those, 65% were complaints and 41.4% of those complaints were related to air passengers’ rights, while almost one in ten was about rental cars.

This decrease is small when compared with the drop in the number of small claims applications, with the Courts Service reporting a 37% decline in 2013 and the National Consumer Agency pointing to a decrease of 4.2% in the number of consumers contacting their phone line.

20% of cases handled by ECC Ireland in the aviation area related to a delayed flight, while 16% stemmed from the cancellation of a flight. A further 15% arose out of problems with the booking process. Other cases
involved problems with documentation and denied boarding (12%), baggage claims (12%), baggage policies (8%), terms and conditions (6%) and changes of schedule by the airline (2%).

In one case, the consumer was informed upon arrival at the airport that his flight to Malaga was cancelled.

He was unable to avail of the alternative flight offered by the airline and thus booked an alternative flight from Oslo to Malaga. However, the airline charged him for not having a boarding card printed for the new flight. ECC Ireland contacted the airline on behalf of the consumer and secured a refund of €733 for the cancelled flight, as well as reimbursement of the €148 paid in check-in fees.

The consumer was refunded a total of €881.

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The ECCI says that this is down to the economic landscape.

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Over 30% of cases required intervention by the ECCI directly.

In terms of money recovered, the overall level of refunds obtained for consumers in Ireland and elsewhere arising from ECCI work amounted to €80,998.40, a 28% decrease on the sum obtained in 2012.

Read: SuperValu, Tesco, Spar and PC World branches all hit with notices by consumer agency

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Paul Hosford

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