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Over €80,000 paid to consumers in refunds and compensation last year

Air passengers complaints amounted to half of the total number of cases where the ECC liaised with traders directly on behalf of customers.

Image: Images Money via Flickr

THE EUROPEAN CONSUMER Centre Ireland (ECC Ireland) said today it secured over €80,000 in refunds and compensation for consumers in 2011.

ECC Ireland, which deals with cross boarder complaints, said it handled over 3,600 consumers in 2011, a decrease of 5.7 per cent on 2010 which saw a surge of queries related to the volcanic ash crisis of April and May that year.

The number of cases where the consumer was unable to resolve their complaint independently and required the direct assistance of ECC Ireland to resolve the complaint by contacting the trader increased by 5.6 per cent.

Over the last five years the number of cases handled by ECC Ireland has increased by almost 80 per cent.

The average refund amount received in 2011 was €248, down 25 per cent from the year before.

As in previous years, air passengers rights continued to be the sector attracting the greatest number of consumer complaints in 2011, amounting to 50 per cent of the total number of cases where the ECC liaised with traders directly on behalf of customers.

The other top areas of complaint were electronic goods, entertainment, car rental and hotels.

Ann Neville, Manager of ECC Ireland said the publication of the Directive on Consumer Rights and the European Commission’s announcement of a package of legislative proposals on dispute resolutions would give consumers enhanced levels of protection this year.

“Measures such as these will enable consumers to take advantage of the increased choices offered by the Single Market, confident that if something goes wrong they can get help,” she said.

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