Euro MPs vote for faster, easier and cheaper solutions to disputes with traders

Euro MPs voted today on a new EU law to give consumers access to a simple and low-cost way of resolving disputes when purchasing goods or services in the EU.

Local Labour Euro MP, Arlene McCarthy a champion for consumer rights said:   “In 2010, one in five European consumers encountered problems when buying goods or services in the single market. If we are to truly maximise the benefits of the Single Market and boost our future prosperity consumers need to have trust in how that market operates.”

“In the Single Market it cannot be right that consumers are not on an equal footing when they purchase goods in another country, especially if they encounter a problem. Consumers must feel safe when buying goods online or from other EU countries and that if things go wrong they can be resolved easily and without a huge cost.”

On what the new law could mean for European growth Arlene added:  “Every year consumers and traders lose billions of euros on pursuing cases, equivalent to €22.5 billion a year. Imagine that money remains in the pockets of consumers and traders so that they can spend it the market place rather than it being sucked into costly court cases and administrative fees.”

“This new law will give consumers the confidence to shop safely online or in another EU countries safe in the knowledge that they can obtain redress if a problem occurs with their purchase. This is vital in these times of crisis when we need to do all we can to support growth. ”

On what the new rules include Arlene added:  “The new rules will give consumers simple, speedy and cost-effective access to resolution whilst still offering a high-level on consumer protection. One of the key elements of the proposed new law is that consumers should receive a final response to a complaint within 90 days and for free, or at a very low cost.  The rules will also ensure that consumers receive quality, independent advice and assistance during the conflict resolution.”

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