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Ecc Hungary introduction ADR bodies

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Cross-border consumer
protection – Introduction of
European Consumer Centre
Hungary

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Ecc Hungary introduction ADR bodies

  1. 1. European Consumer Centre Hungary Cross-border consumer protection –– Introduction of European Consumer Centre Hungary dr. Attila Kriesch Director Budapest, 28th November, 2013.
  2. 2. European Consumer Centre Hungary What is the ECC-Net?  European Consumer Centres’ Network (ECC-Net, operational since 2005) is an EU-wide network that provides information to consumers on their rights when shopping cross-border and helps them find solutions if something goes wrong.  There is a European Consumer Centre (ECC) in 30 countries – every EU Member State, Norway and Iceland.  Co-financed by the European Commission and by the countries hosting the ECCs.  ECC Hungary has been hosted by the Hungarian Authority for Consumer Protection as of 01 January, 2011.
  3. 3. European Consumer Centre Hungary What service does ECC-Net provide?  assists in the resolution of cross-border consumer complaints;  provides information on both EU and national consumer protection rules;  gives advice to consumers facing a cross-border related problem and helps them reach an amicable solution;  informs consumers on alternative ways to deal with the complaints if they can not be solved amicably with the trader, e.g. ADR or a Court, using the European Small Claims Procedure;
  4. 4. European Consumer Centre Hungary What service does ECC-Net provide?  Provides feedback to the European Commission and other stakeholders based on practical experiences of case-handling.  Promotion of alternative dispute resolution.  In 2012 the ECC-Net handled 72 067 contacts. 32 197 were complaints.  cooperates with other EU-wide networks (Europe Direct, Enterprise Europe Network, Solvit).  Public information campaigns, reports, projects, surveys, publications and consultations.
  5. 5. European Consumer Centre Hungary How does the ECC-Net work?  If a consumer has a problem with a trader situated in another country, he first needs to contact the trader himself in order to find a solution.  If a solution can not be found, the consumer may contact the ECC in his country. The ECC in the consumer’s country will liaise with the ECC in the country where the trader is located.  Then the ECC of the trader’s country who knows the national rules contacts the trader in order to reach an amicable solution.  Where an ECCs’ intervention does not lead to an amicable solution with the trader, the ECCs will – as much as possible – inform and assist consumers in accessing an appropriate national ADR entity and/or propose other possibilities to solve their problems (ESCP, specific questions of court procedure).
  6. 6. European Consumer Centre Hungary Frequently covered areas of the complaints:  Online shopping, online services (online payment methods, online games, online auctions etc.);  Air passenger rights, conditions of air transport;  Offline purchase (buying goods in shop, warranty);  Timeshare contracts; Travel contracts, booking or quality of accommodation ;  Home rentals; Car-rentals;  Electronic telecommunication services, premium-rate services (downloadable mobile contents);  Healthcare services, so practically we deal with  all types of consumer complaints……
  7. 7. European Consumer Centre Hungary  Services of ECC Hungary as „Consumer ECC” in case of cross border complaint submitted by Hungarian consumers against European companies:  Assistance in contacting the foreign trader (drafting a complaint letter in English or German);  Providing the complainant with preliminary tips/advice how to solve the problem directly with the trader;  Detailed legal assessment of the complaint, requesting the necessary evidence and supporting documents;  Translation of the complaint and its attachment into English and forwarding them to the fellow ECC located in the country where the trader is seated
  8. 8. European Consumer Centre Hungary  Services of ECC Hungary as „Consumer ECC” in case of cross border complaint submitted by Hungarian consumers  Consumer is regularly updated about the status of his/her complaint;  If the assistance is not successful, consumer receives information about the options of other legal redress mechanism such as alternative dispute resolution, European Small Claims Procedure, administrative or liquidation procedures available in 29 countries, etc  Under given circumstances attempting the „informal enforcement” of administrative rulings issued by public bodies (National Enforcement Bodies) against European airlines
  9. 9. European Consumer Centre Hungary  Services of ECC Hungary as „Trader ECC” in case of cross-border complaint submitted by other European consumers against Hungarian companies  Detailed legal assessment of the complaint, requesting the necessary additional evidence and supporting documents from the Consumer ECC;  Contacting the trader in the most appropriate way in order to reach an amicable settlement (detailed legal argumentation if necessary);  If no answer from the trader, making other attempts (via e-mail, post, phone) to get in touch with the company;  Consumer ECC is regularly updated about the status of the consumer’s complaint;
  10. 10. European Consumer Centre Hungary  Services of ECC Hungary as „Trader ECC” in case of cross border complaint submitted by other European consumers against Hungarian companies  If the assistance is not successful and if the consumer’s claim is considered as justified, upon request of the consumer ECC Hungary forwards the case to the Hungarian ADR bodies  If the assistance is not successful due to the bankruptcy of the trader, Consumer ECC provides information about the details of liquidation procedures in Hungary, etc  Under given circumstances attempting the „informal enforcement” of administrative rulings issued by public bodies (National Enforcement Bodies) against Hungarian airlines
  11. 11. European Consumer Centre Hungary ECC-Net cannot help:  in business to business issues;  in national cases;  if the trader is established outside the EU, Norway, Iceland;  if other party is a governmental institution;  to enforce the law;  to claim for compensation for non-material damage;  to represent the consumer before civil court;  If the consumer was deceived/scammed by fraudulent traders.
  12. 12. European Consumer Centre Hungary  Advantages of the assistance of the ECC-Net:  Free of charge;  Professional;  Informal and simple;  Rapid;  Successful in the majority of the complaints if consumer’s claim is legally founded;  Offers an effective alternative to legal action against traders (to avoid litigation);  No minimum value of the claim.
  13. 13. European Consumer Centre Hungary How can the consumer contact the European Consumer Centre?  Personal visit;  E-mail;  Via post;  By phone;  Online complaint form on the website;
  14. 14. European Consumer Centre Hungary  Main results in 2012:  320 new cross-border complaints (submitted by mainly Hungarian consumers);  Due to the assistance of the ECC Hungary, Hungarian and other EU consumers have actually received approximately 13,5 million HUF (about 46550 EUR) originating from the successful (amicable) settlement of their complaints;  4 information brochures (3 in Hungarian, 1 in English);  bi-lingual (Hungarian and English) website (www.magyarefk.hu);  1039 information requests from consumers by e-mail/phone/ personal visits
  15. 15. European Consumer Centre Hungary  Main results in 2012:  8 press conferences were held and active media activity was performed at national/county/regional level in order to promote the activities of the centre.  The ECC participated in more events and EU campaigns in order to increase visibility (Europe Day 2012, European Air Passengers’ Rights Day 2012 and High season-Tourism Fair).  The ECC started cooperated with the players of the consumer protection sector (e.g Europe Direct offices, SOLVIT Centre, the European Commission Representation in Hungary, Enterprise Europe Network, etc)  presentations at 11 events organised by the county consumer protection inspectorates, Enterprise Europe Network, county chambers of commerce and industry and also by trade associations in order to raise consumer- and business-awareness
  16. 16. European Consumer Centre Hungary Activities in the field of alternative dispute resolution
  17. 17. European Consumer Centre Hungary  Activities in the field of alternative dispute resolution  Assisting consumers with a dispute (Objective 3.)  If amicable settlement with the trader was not successful via the intervention of ECC-Net, ECC Hungary forwards a complaint via its fellow ECC to ADR bodies in other Member States in case of Hungarian consumers  Risolvi Online and Alitalia dispute resolution scheme – Italy; Online Schlichter – Germany, Financial Ombudsman Service – UK, Consumer Complaints Boards – Scandinavian countries, Lisbon Arbitration Centre – Portugal  About 15-20 disputes per year
  18. 18. European Consumer Centre Hungary  Assisting consumer with a dispute (Objective 3.)  In case of European consumers of another country ECC Hungary may forwards it to the Hungarian ADR bodies. It includes the  Sending the template documents and detailed infor-mation on ADR to the consumer;  Preparing the final claim/request and documents in Hungarian and English;  Forwarding the claim to the ADR body;  Creating a summary about the decision of the ADR body for the consumer;
  19. 19. European Consumer Centre Hungary  Contributing to ADR development (Objective 5.)  Participation in national legislation process to improve the national ADR system;  Participation in European public consultation process on ADR if requested;  Promotion of national ADR bodies (on our website, in leaflets, in reply letters sent to consumers in case of domestic queries);  Cooperation with ADR bodies (making presentation, mutual signposting of cases, distribution of leaflets, etc.)
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  21. 21. European Consumer Centre Hungary
  22. 22. European Consumer Centre Hungary Thank you for your kind attention! Questions? „This presentation arises from the project “European Consumer Centres’ Network – ECC-Net” which has received funding from the European Union, in the framework of the Programme of Community action in the field of Consumer policy for 2007-2013.”

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