Record numbers of consumers getting help with cross-border purchases

2/3/2017

Never has the number of Swedish consumers who have sought guidance and advice about their consumer rights from ECC Sweden been so great. The contacts have increased by 77.5 percent since last year. Flights, car valuations and subscription traps are what consumers complain about most.

Picture of woman by computer.

Swedish consumers are increasingly using the web when they buy goods or services. The growing interest to shop online across borders also means that more and more people search for information on their rights as consumers abroad.

In 2016, ECC Sweden registered 8182 contacts, which is the highest number since the start of the operation. 2016 we had 77.5 percent more inquiries via telephone, email and the online Q & A forum compared to 2015. Of all the cases concerned, 72 percent were e-commerce, which is an increase compared to 67 per cent 2015.

More searching for answers online

The number of consumers who are looking for answers online increased in 2016. The number of visits to the site increased during the same period by 60 percent, from 130,782 to 274,241 unique visitors. The number of impressions in the online Q & A forum increased during the same period by 115 percent, from 143,577 to 309,389 impressions.

- We are delighted that the Swedes are demanding more information and help as they do more cross-border purchases. It feels good that consumers find our information and that they use our Q & A forum where they quickly can get an answer to their questions. It should be simple and reliable for consumers to make cross-border purchases and to take advantage of the benefits and choices of the common European market, says Jolanda Girzl, Head of ECC Sweden.

Most complaints on air travel, car valuation and subscription traps

The reason for the large increase of cases is mainly due to an increased number of complaints about air travel, subscription traps and car valuation services. Flights was the largest area with 21 percent of the total number of complaints, followed by the field sample packages and subscription with 18 percent. The complaints on sample packages and subscription were related to herbal products, pharmaceuticals and personal care products. The third largest area of 15 percent concerned vehicles, including cars and car valuation services.

About ECC Sweden

ECC Sweden is a part of the ECC network which guide and provide advice and assistance to consumers who have problems with a trader in another EU country, Norway or Iceland. Both through counselling or through mediation with our sister offices. ECC network has offices in all EU countries, Norway and Iceland.

Press contact

Questions is answered by director Jolanda Girzl, 054-19 40 52. Our legal advisers can be reached via ECC Sweden's switchboard, 054-19 41 50.