Archive - December 2016

1095: ECC CHRISTMAS CONSUMER ADVISORY
Thursday 22 December 2016
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The European Consumer Centre is advising last-minute Christmas shoppers to retain receipts for all items bought in shops and online.

It says large numbers of people are unable to return bought goods because they have no record of purchase.

Martina Nee is Communications Officer with the European Consumer Centre in Dublin.

She says there are prudent tips that shoppers should adhere to when buying gifts.

Interviewee: Martina Nee | Clip duration: 0 minutes 20 seconds | Outwords: are buying from

1094: EU CLAMPDOWN ON CRIMINAL FUNDS
Wednesday 21 December 2016
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The EU Commission is to tighten the rules on the financing of criminal gangs and terrorist groups.

Among the proposals will be the power to question suspicious individuals who carry sums of money less than €10,000 while travelling between EU member States.

Customs checks are to be stepped up on cash sent in postal parcels, freight shipments and on the movement of commodities such as gold.

EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourouva says there will also be a clampdown on the transfer of funds to spouses and family members of criminals and terrorists.

Interviewee: Vera Jourouva | Clip duration: 0 minutes 22 seconds | Outwords: keeping their funds

1093: IRISH AHEAD OF EUROPEAN AVERAGE ON SMARTPHONE USAGE
Wednesday 21 December 2016
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Irish people are slightly ahead of their European counterparts when it comes to smartphone usage.

84 per cent of Irish internet users now rely on their phone for daily communications while the EU average is just 79 per cent.

Spanish people are top of the Eurostat list with 93 per cent using their phone for all internet activity.

Ruth Deasy of the EU Commission says the growth area of smartphone usage is amongst those under 24.

Interviewee: Ruth Deasy | Clip duration: 0 minutes 20 seconds | Outwords: of going online

1092: IRISH TOPS FOR SOCIAL MEDIA ADVERTISING
Friday 16 December 2016
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Ireland is now officially the number one country in the EU for displaying advertising on social media.

New figures from Eurostat show that we are also the number one country for geo-targeting where advertising is directed at a particular age demographic by technological means.

However when it comes to companies having websites, Irish operations at just 76 per cent lag way behind Denmark and Sweden where nine out of ten are connected to the web.

Ruth Deasy of the EU office in Dublin says the figures show that Irish people are fully tuned in to the power and influence of the digital world.

Interviewee: Ruth Deasy | Clip duration: 0 minutes 18 seconds | Outwords: reach their customers

1091: ABOLITION OF MOBILE PHONE ROAMING CHARGES IN EU A STEP CLOSER
Thursday 15 December 2016
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The European Commission has moved a step closer in its bid to abolish mobile phone roaming charges on June 15th next.

The Commission has given the go-ahead for phone providers to negotiate deals amongst each other to set inter-company fees when people move from one EU State to another.

Ruth Deasy is Communications Officer with the EU office in Dublin.

She says all the main hurdles have now been cleared for the abolition of roaming charges next summer.

Interviewee: Ruth Deasy | Clip duration: 0 minutes 17 seconds | Outwords: by June 2017

1090: IRISH ONLINE SHOPPERS CONTINUE TO BE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST.
Wednesday 14 December 2016
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EU online shoppers, including Irish people, still face unjustified discrimination due to nationality and place of residence.

A Report from the European Consumer Centre Network shows that some traders practice internet geo-blocking to prevent certain EU consumers’ access to services.

An Irish shopper was recently charged €155 by a UK online trader for a dress after using an Irish credit card even though the same product was sold for £95 to British customers.

Martina Nee of the European Consumer Centre Network in Dublin says greater enforcement of the EU Services Directive is required to end the rip-off culture.

ECC-Net report finds EU shoppers still face unjustified discrimination due to nationality and place of residence

 

·         Some traders use business practices such as geo-blocking to create artificial barriers and restrict consumers’ access to services.

·         Ireland has third highest number of Article 20.2 complaints from consumers.

 

The European Consumer Centre (ECC) Ireland, in conjunction with the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland, has today [Wednesday, December 14th, 2016] launched a new report which found that despite EU legislation prohibiting discrimination based on nationality and place of residence, business practices such as geo-blocking are still preventing consumers from accessing services when shopping online.

 

The European Consumer Centre Network’s (ECC-Net) report, titled Do Invisible Borders Still Restrict Consumer Access to Services in the EU?, was officially launched at the European Commission Representation for Northern Ireland in Belfast. The report is an analysis of Article 20.2 of the Services Directive which outlines the principle of non-discrimination on the basis of nationality and place of residence.

 

Ireland had the third highest number of complaints received from consumers with 66 Article 20.2 related complaints. The top spot was taken by Austria with 138 complaints, followed by Italy in second place with 68 complaints. The report found that consumers continue to face restrictions and are regularly confronted with refusal to deliver or higher prices based on their nationality or place of residence. The complaints show that some traders have created artificial barriers and the reasons given for the restrictions applied are often unjustified.

 

ECC-Net is now calling for greater clarity on what constitutes discrimination under Article 20.2 and for stronger enforcement when breaches by service providers occur. 

 

Assistant legal adviser for ECC Ireland, Anna Heryan, said: “The Services Directive has been an important step in improving the functioning of the Single Market for services. However, complaints received by ECC-Net confirmed that the principle of non-discrimination of Article 20.2 has not been effective in combatting unjustified service differentiation and it has not reduced legal uncertainty. Consumers too often face restrictions with no justification while the reasons invoked by traders are unconvincing and lack objective criteria.

 

ECC-Net welcomes the European Commission’s acknowledgement that further action is necessary to give effect to the principle of non-discrimination and develop rules against discrimination based on the nationality or place of residence of consumers. We also welcome the Digital Single Market and the Single Market Strategy initiatives, as well as the Commission’s adoption of the e-commerce package which is a major step forward in tackling geo-blocking, making cross-border parcel delivery more affordable and efficient, and promoting consumer trust through better protection and enforcement.”

 

The report is the result of a joint project to investigate the work of ECC-Net under the Services Directive and the main problems encountered by consumers. ECC Ireland was the project leader, assisted by a working group made up of ECCs Austria, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the UK.

 

Report key findings:

·         Between January 2013 and December 2015, ECC-Net received 532 Article 20.2 related complaints. This represents an increase of 140% in respect of the 222 complaints of this nature reported to ECC-Net between 2010 and 2012.

·         More than 82% of cases reported related to consumers’ residence rather than nationality and took place mostly in relation to online transactions.

·         Nearly 68% of complaints were where consumers faced price or service differentiation – mostly with the purchase of goods such as electronic, household appliances, vehicles, clothes, books, music, or data downloads.

·         Nearly 25% of cases were in relation to the provision of services in the field of tourism and leisure, including those provided by travel agencies, accommodation providers or amusement parks.

·         More than 5% of cases were in the rental and leasing services sector.

·         Traders that carried out service and price restrictions/differentiation based on consumers’ nationality or place of residence did so by: Blocking access to websites, automatic re-routing to another website, refusing delivery or payment, or applying different prices or sales conditions.

·         Out of 243 cases which required ECC-Net’s active intervention, 54 were reported to the relevant enforcement authorities. This was mainly due to traders’ failure to cooperate with ECCs and the lack of satisfactory explanation in respect of business practices. In relation to 57% of cases referred, no further information about the outcome could be obtained.

 

Irish case studies:

·         An Irish consumer participated in a half marathon organised by a trader based in the United Kingdom. The consumer was charged more as an overseas participant, as opposed to the price available for residents from the UK.

·         An Irish consumer attempted to hire a car in France. The vehicle provider refused to provide a vehicle as the consumer was unable to provide a French driving license.

·         Having attempted to shop online with a UK-based web-trader, an Irish consumer was advised she could shop from the Irish version of the site. The consumer could continue viewing the content of the UK site, but the trader would not deliver to Ireland from the UK site.

·         An Irish consumer placed an order for a dress with a UK-based web-trader. The same dress was available on the Irish version of the website but at a higher price (€155 as opposed to £95). The consumer indicated the UK as the place of delivery, but was advised she would need to pay €155 as she was using an Irish credit card and clearly was residing in Ireland. The case was referred to the competent Trading Standards office in the UK. The latter refused to look into the matter arguing the Services Directive was not applicable in the case of online purchase of goods

ECC-Net report finds EU shoppers still face unjustified discrimination due to nationality and place of residence

 

·         Some traders use business practices such as geo-blocking to create artificial barriers and restrict consumers’ access to services.

·         Ireland has third highest number of Article 20.2 complaints from consumers.

 

The European Consumer Centre (ECC) Ireland, in conjunction with the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland, has today [Wednesday, December 14th, 2016] launched a new report which found that despite EU legislation prohibiting discrimination based on nationality and place of residence, business practices such as geo-blocking are still preventing consumers from accessing services when shopping online.

 

The European Consumer Centre Network’s (ECC-Net) report, titled Do Invisible Borders Still Restrict Consumer Access to Services in the EU?, was officially launched at the European Commission Representation for Northern Ireland in Belfast. The report is an analysis of Article 20.2 of the Services Directive which outlines the principle of non-discrimination on the basis of nationality and place of residence.

 

Ireland had the third highest number of complaints received from consumers with 66 Article 20.2 related complaints. The top spot was taken by Austria with 138 complaints, followed by Italy in second place with 68 complaints. The report found that consumers continue to face restrictions and are regularly confronted with refusal to deliver or higher prices based on their nationality or place of residence. The complaints show that some traders have created artificial barriers and the reasons given for the restrictions applied are often unjustified.

 

ECC-Net is now calling for greater clarity on what constitutes discrimination under Article 20.2 and for stronger enforcement when breaches by service providers occur. 

 

Assistant legal adviser for ECC Ireland, Anna Heryan, said: “The Services Directive has been an important step in improving the functioning of the Single Market for services. However, complaints received by ECC-Net confirmed that the principle of non-discrimination of Article 20.2 has not been effective in combatting unjustified service differentiation and it has not reduced legal uncertainty. Consumers too often face restrictions with no justification while the reasons invoked by traders are unconvincing and lack objective criteria.

 

ECC-Net welcomes the European Commission’s acknowledgement that further action is necessary to give effect to the principle of non-discrimination and develop rules against discrimination based on the nationality or place of residence of consumers. We also welcome the Digital Single Market and the Single Market Strategy initiatives, as well as the Commission’s adoption of the e-commerce package which is a major step forward in tackling geo-blocking, making cross-border parcel delivery more affordable and efficient, and promoting consumer trust through better protection and enforcement.”

 

The report is the result of a joint project to investigate the work of ECC-Net under the Services Directive and the main problems encountered by consumers. ECC Ireland was the project leader, assisted by a working group made up of ECCs Austria, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the UK.

 

Report key findings:

·         Between January 2013 and December 2015, ECC-Net received 532 Article 20.2 related complaints. This represents an increase of 140% in respect of the 222 complaints of this nature reported to ECC-Net between 2010 and 2012.

·         More than 82% of cases reported related to consumers’ residence rather than nationality and took place mostly in relation to online transactions.

·         Nearly 68% of complaints were where consumers faced price or service differentiation – mostly with the purchase of goods such as electronic, household appliances, vehicles, clothes, books, music, or data downloads.

·         Nearly 25% of cases were in relation to the provision of services in the field of tourism and leisure, including those provided by travel agencies, accommodation providers or amusement parks.

·         More than 5% of cases were in the rental and leasing services sector.

·         Traders that carried out service and price restrictions/differentiation based on consumers’ nationality or place of residence did so by: Blocking access to websites, automatic re-routing to another website, refusing delivery or payment, or applying different prices or sales conditions.

·         Out of 243 cases which required ECC-Net’s active intervention, 54 were reported to the relevant enforcement authorities. This was mainly due to traders’ failure to cooperate with ECCs and the lack of satisfactory explanation in respect of business practices. In relation to 57% of cases referred, no further information about the outcome could be obtained.

 

Irish case studies:

·         An Irish consumer participated in a half marathon organised by a trader based in the United Kingdom. The consumer was charged more as an overseas participant, as opposed to the price available for residents from the UK.

·         An Irish consumer attempted to hire a car in France. The vehicle provider refused to provide a vehicle as the consumer was unable to provide a French driving license.

·         Having attempted to shop online with a UK-based web-trader, an Irish consumer was advised she could shop from the Irish version of the site. The consumer could continue viewing the content of the UK site, but the trader would not deliver to Ireland from the UK site.

·         An Irish consumer placed an order for a dress with a UK-based web-trader. The same dress was available on the Irish version of the website but at a higher price (€155 as opposed to £95). The consumer indicated the UK as the place of delivery, but was advised she would need to pay €155 as she was using an Irish credit card and clearly was residing in Ireland. The case was referred to the competent Trading Standards office in the UK. The latter refused to look into the matter arguing the Services Directive was not applicable in the case of online purchase of goods

ECC-Net report finds EU shoppers still face unjustified discrimination due to nationality and place of residence

 

·         Some traders use business practices such as geo-blocking to create artificial barriers and restrict consumers’ access to services.

·         Ireland has third highest number of Article 20.2 complaints from consumers.

 

The European Consumer Centre (ECC) Ireland, in conjunction with the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland, has today [Wednesday, December 14th, 2016] launched a new report which found that despite EU legislation prohibiting discrimination based on nationality and place of residence, business practices such as geo-blocking are still preventing consumers from accessing services when shopping online.

 

The European Consumer Centre Network’s (ECC-Net) report, titled Do Invisible Borders Still Restrict Consumer Access to Services in the EU?, was officially launched at the European Commission Representation for Northern Ireland in Belfast. The report is an analysis of Article 20.2 of the Services Directive which outlines the principle of non-discrimination on the basis of nationality and place of residence.

 

Ireland had the third highest number of complaints received from consumers with 66 Article 20.2 related complaints. The top spot was taken by Austria with 138 complaints, followed by Italy in second place with 68 complaints. The report found that consumers continue to face restrictions and are regularly confronted with refusal to deliver or higher prices based on their nationality or place of residence. The complaints show that some traders have created artificial barriers and the reasons given for the restrictions applied are often unjustified.

 

ECC-Net is now calling for greater clarity on what constitutes discrimination under Article 20.2 and for stronger enforcement when breaches by service providers occur. 

 

Assistant legal adviser for ECC Ireland, Anna Heryan, said: “The Services Directive has been an important step in improving the functioning of the Single Market for services. However, complaints received by ECC-Net confirmed that the principle of non-discrimination of Article 20.2 has not been effective in combatting unjustified service differentiation and it has not reduced legal uncertainty. Consumers too often face restrictions with no justification while the reasons invoked by traders are unconvincing and lack objective criteria.

 

ECC-Net welcomes the European Commission’s acknowledgement that further action is necessary to give effect to the principle of non-discrimination and develop rules against discrimination based on the nationality or place of residence of consumers. We also welcome the Digital Single Market and the Single Market Strategy initiatives, as well as the Commission’s adoption of the e-commerce package which is a major step forward in tackling geo-blocking, making cross-border parcel delivery more affordable and efficient, and promoting consumer trust through better protection and enforcement.”

 

The report is the result of a joint project to investigate the work of ECC-Net under the Services Directive and the main problems encountered by consumers. ECC Ireland was the project leader, assisted by a working group made up of ECCs Austria, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the UK.

 

Report key findings:

·         Between January 2013 and December 2015, ECC-Net received 532 Article 20.2 related complaints. This represents an increase of 140% in respect of the 222 complaints of this nature reported to ECC-Net between 2010 and 2012.

·         More than 82% of cases reported related to consumers’ residence rather than nationality and took place mostly in relation to online transactions.

·         Nearly 68% of complaints were where consumers faced price or service differentiation – mostly with the purchase of goods such as electronic, household appliances, vehicles, clothes, books, music, or data downloads.

·         Nearly 25% of cases were in relation to the provision of services in the field of tourism and leisure, including those provided by travel agencies, accommodation providers or amusement parks.

·         More than 5% of cases were in the rental and leasing services sector.

·         Traders that carried out service and price restrictions/differentiation based on consumers’ nationality or place of residence did so by: Blocking access to websites, automatic re-routing to another website, refusing delivery or payment, or applying different prices or sales conditions.

·         Out of 243 cases which required ECC-Net’s active intervention, 54 were reported to the relevant enforcement authorities. This was mainly due to traders’ failure to cooperate with ECCs and the lack of satisfactory explanation in respect of business practices. In relation to 57% of cases referred, no further information about the outcome could be obtained.

 

Irish case studies:

·         An Irish consumer participated in a half marathon organised by a trader based in the United Kingdom. The consumer was charged more as an overseas participant, as opposed to the price available for residents from the UK.

·         An Irish consumer attempted to hire a car in France. The vehicle provider refused to provide a vehicle as the consumer was unable to provide a French driving license.

·         Having attempted to shop online with a UK-based web-trader, an Irish consumer was advised she could shop from the Irish version of the site. The consumer could continue viewing the content of the UK site, but the trader would not deliver to Ireland from the UK site.

·         An Irish consumer placed an order for a dress with a UK-based web-trader. The same dress was available on the Irish version of the website but at a higher price (€155 as opposed to £95). The consumer indicated the UK as the place of delivery, but was advised she would need to pay €155 as she was using an Irish credit card and clearly was residing in Ireland. The case was referred to the competent Trading Standards office in the UK. The latter refused to look into the matter arguing the Services Directive was not applicable in the case of online purchase of goods

ECC-Net report finds EU shoppers still face unjustified discrimination due to nationality and place of residence

 

·         Some traders use business practices such as geo-blocking to create artificial barriers and restrict consumers’ access to services.

·         Ireland has third highest number of Article 20.2 complaints from consumers.

 

The European Consumer Centre (ECC) Ireland, in conjunction with the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland, has today [Wednesday, December 14th, 2016] launched a new report which found that despite EU legislation prohibiting discrimination based on nationality and place of residence, business practices such as geo-blocking are still preventing consumers from accessing services when shopping online.

 

The European Consumer Centre Network’s (ECC-Net) report, titled Do Invisible Borders Still Restrict Consumer Access to Services in the EU?, was officially launched at the European Commission Representation for Northern Ireland in Belfast. The report is an analysis of Article 20.2 of the Services Directive which outlines the principle of non-discrimination on the basis of nationality and place of residence.

 

Ireland had the third highest number of complaints received from consumers with 66 Article 20.2 related complaints. The top spot was taken by Austria with 138 complaints, followed by Italy in second place with 68 complaints. The report found that consumers continue to face restrictions and are regularly confronted with refusal to deliver or higher prices based on their nationality or place of residence. The complaints show that some traders have created artificial barriers and the reasons given for the restrictions applied are often unjustified.

 

ECC-Net is now calling for greater clarity on what constitutes discrimination under Article 20.2 and for stronger enforcement when breaches by service providers occur. 

 

Assistant legal adviser for ECC Ireland, Anna Heryan, said: “The Services Directive has been an important step in improving the functioning of the Single Market for services. However, complaints received by ECC-Net confirmed that the principle of non-discrimination of Article 20.2 has not been effective in combatting unjustified service differentiation and it has not reduced legal uncertainty. Consumers too often face restrictions with no justification while the reasons invoked by traders are unconvincing and lack objective criteria.

 

ECC-Net welcomes the European Commission’s acknowledgement that further action is necessary to give effect to the principle of non-discrimination and develop rules against discrimination based on the nationality or place of residence of consumers. We also welcome the Digital Single Market and the Single Market Strategy initiatives, as well as the Commission’s adoption of the e-commerce package which is a major step forward in tackling geo-blocking, making cross-border parcel delivery more affordable and efficient, and promoting consumer trust through better protection and enforcement.”

 

The report is the result of a joint project to investigate the work of ECC-Net under the Services Directive and the main problems encountered by consumers. ECC Ireland was the project leader, assisted by a working group made up of ECCs Austria, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the UK.

 

Report key findings:

·         Between January 2013 and December 2015, ECC-Net received 532 Article 20.2 related complaints. This represents an increase of 140% in respect of the 222 complaints of this nature reported to ECC-Net between 2010 and 2012.

·         More than 82% of cases reported related to consumers’ residence rather than nationality and took place mostly in relation to online transactions.

·         Nearly 68% of complaints were where consumers faced price or service differentiation – mostly with the purchase of goods such as electronic, household appliances, vehicles, clothes, books, music, or data downloads.

·         Nearly 25% of cases were in relation to the provision of services in the field of tourism and leisure, including those provided by travel agencies, accommodation providers or amusement parks.

·         More than 5% of cases were in the rental and leasing services sector.

·         Traders that carried out service and price restrictions/differentiation based on consumers’ nationality or place of residence did so by: Blocking access to websites, automatic re-routing to another website, refusing delivery or payment, or applying different prices or sales conditions.

·         Out of 243 cases which required ECC-Net’s active intervention, 54 were reported to the relevant enforcement authorities. This was mainly due to traders’ failure to cooperate with ECCs and the lack of satisfactory explanation in respect of business practices. In relation to 57% of cases referred, no further information about the outcome could be obtained.

 

Irish case studies:

·         An Irish consumer participated in a half marathon organised by a trader based in the United Kingdom. The consumer was charged more as an overseas participant, as opposed to the price available for residents from the UK.

·         An Irish consumer attempted to hire a car in France. The vehicle provider refused to provide a vehicle as the consumer was unable to provide a French driving license.

·         Having attempted to shop online with a UK-based web-trader, an Irish consumer was advised she could shop from the Irish version of the site. The consumer could continue viewing the content of the UK site, but the trader would not deliver to Ireland from the UK site.

·         An Irish consumer placed an order for a dress with a UK-based web-trader. The same dress was available on the Irish version of the website but at a higher price (€155 as opposed to £95). The consumer indicated the UK as the place of delivery, but was advised she would need to pay €155 as she was using an Irish credit card and clearly was residing in Ireland. The case was referred to the competent Trading Standards office in the UK. The latter refused to look into the matter arguing the Services Directive was not applicable in the case of online purchase of goods

ECC-Net report finds EU shoppers still face unjustified discrimination due to nationality and place of residence

 

·         Some traders use business practices such as geo-blocking to create artificial barriers and restrict consumers’ access to services.

·         Ireland has third highest number of Article 20.2 complaints from consumers.

 

The European Consumer Centre (ECC) Ireland, in conjunction with the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland, has today [Wednesday, December 14th, 2016] launched a new report which found that despite EU legislation prohibiting discrimination based on nationality and place of residence, business practices such as geo-blocking are still preventing consumers from accessing services when shopping online.

 

The European Consumer Centre Network’s (ECC-Net) report, titled Do Invisible Borders Still Restrict Consumer Access to Services in the EU?, was officially launched at the European Commission Representation for Northern Ireland in Belfast. The report is an analysis of Article 20.2 of the Services Directive which outlines the principle of non-discrimination on the basis of nationality and place of residence.

 

Ireland had the third highest number of complaints received from consumers with 66 Article 20.2 related complaints. The top spot was taken by Austria with 138 complaints, followed by Italy in second place with 68 complaints. The report found that consumers continue to face restrictions and are regularly confronted with refusal to deliver or higher prices based on their nationality or place of residence. The complaints show that some traders have created artificial barriers and the reasons given for the restrictions applied are often unjustified.

 

ECC-Net is now calling for greater clarity on what constitutes discrimination under Article 20.2 and for stronger enforcement when breaches by service providers occur. 

 

Assistant legal adviser for ECC Ireland, Anna Heryan, said: “The Services Directive has been an important step in improving the functioning of the Single Market for services. However, complaints received by ECC-Net confirmed that the principle of non-discrimination of Article 20.2 has not been effective in combatting unjustified service differentiation and it has not reduced legal uncertainty. Consumers too often face restrictions with no justification while the reasons invoked by traders are unconvincing and lack objective criteria.

 

ECC-Net welcomes the European Commission’s acknowledgement that further action is necessary to give effect to the principle of non-discrimination and develop rules against discrimination based on the nationality or place of residence of consumers. We also welcome the Digital Single Market and the Single Market Strategy initiatives, as well as the Commission’s adoption of the e-commerce package which is a major step forward in tackling geo-blocking, making cross-border parcel delivery more affordable and efficient, and promoting consumer trust through better protection and enforcement.”

 

The report is the result of a joint project to investigate the work of ECC-Net under the Services Directive and the main problems encountered by consumers. ECC Ireland was the project leader, assisted by a working group made up of ECCs Austria, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the UK.

 

Report key findings:

·         Between January 2013 and December 2015, ECC-Net received 532 Article 20.2 related complaints. This represents an increase of 140% in respect of the 222 complaints of this nature reported to ECC-Net between 2010 and 2012.

·         More than 82% of cases reported related to consumers’ residence rather than nationality and took place mostly in relation to online transactions.

·         Nearly 68% of complaints were where consumers faced price or service differentiation – mostly with the purchase of goods such as electronic, household appliances, vehicles, clothes, books, music, or data downloads.

·         Nearly 25% of cases were in relation to the provision of services in the field of tourism and leisure, including those provided by travel agencies, accommodation providers or amusement parks.

·         More than 5% of cases were in the rental and leasing services sector.

·         Traders that carried out service and price restrictions/differentiation based on consumers’ nationality or place of residence did so by: Blocking access to websites, automatic re-routing to another website, refusing delivery or payment, or applying different prices or sales conditions.

·         Out of 243 cases which required ECC-Net’s active intervention, 54 were reported to the relevant enforcement authorities. This was mainly due to traders’ failure to cooperate with ECCs and the lack of satisfactory explanation in respect of business practices. In relation to 57% of cases referred, no further information about the outcome could be obtained.

 

Irish case studies:

·         An Irish consumer participated in a half marathon organised by a trader based in the United Kingdom. The consumer was charged more as an overseas participant, as opposed to the price available for residents from the UK.

·         An Irish consumer attempted to hire a car in France. The vehicle provider refused to provide a vehicle as the consumer was unable to provide a French driving license.

·         Having attempted to shop online with a UK-based web-trader, an Irish consumer was advised she could shop from the Irish version of the site. The consumer could continue viewing the content of the UK site, but the trader would not deliver to Ireland from the UK site.

·         An Irish consumer placed an order for a dress with a UK-based web-trader. The same dress was available on the Irish version of the website but at a higher price (€155 as opposed to £95). The consumer indicated the UK as the place of delivery, but was advised she would need to pay €155 as she was using an Irish credit card and clearly was residing in Ireland. The case was referred to the competent Trading Standards office in the UK. The latter refused to look into the matter arguing the Services Directive was not applicable in the case of online purchase of goods

Interviewee: Martina Nee | Clip duration: 0 minutes 20 seconds | Outwords: when breaches occur

1089: EU TO MAKE €100M AVAILABLE TO IRISH SMES
Friday 09 December 2016
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The European Investment Fund is making €100 million available to Irish small and medium-sized enterprises.

The new package, which will be channelled through the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland, will support additional loans to close on 2,800 SMEs at attractive rates.

Ruth Deasy is Head of Communications at the EU Commission office in Dublin.

She says Irish SMEs around the country can get information on access to the money through a dedicated website.

Interviewee: Ruth Deasy | Clip duration: 0 minutes 17 seconds | Outwords: click on Ireland

1088: EUROPEAN INVESTMENT BANK OPENS DUBLIN OFFICE
Friday 09 December 2016
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The European Investment Bank will open its first office in Dublin later this morning.

The Bank, on Upper Mount Street, will give Irish companies a direct contact point for EU-supported financing solutions.

Loans for major projects that commercial banks are unlikely to take on, will be made available at more favourable terms.

Andrew McDowell, Vice-President of the EIB, says an increase in Irish construction projects can be expected because of the attractive terms the Bank offers. 

Interviewee: Andrew McDowell | Clip duration: 0 minutes 17 seconds | Outwords: to the loan

1087: EU VOLUNTEER & INTERNSHIP PROGRAMME FOR YOUNG IRISH PEOPLE
Wednesday 07 December 2016
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The European Commission has launched a volunteer and internship programme for young people between the ages of 18 & 30.

Travel for volunteers will be funded by the EU Commission while the Erasmus plus programme will fund internships and apprenticeships.

Participants will get a certificate to acknowledge their involvement in each programme.

Ruth Deasy of the EU office in Dublin says the Programme offers young people a range of opportunities to gain work experience across the European Union.

Interviewee: Ruth Deasy | Clip duration: 0 minutes 18 seconds | Outwords: to get experience

1085: EU IRISH SMART CAR STRATEGY
Friday 02 December 2016
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Self-drive or "smart cars" look set to become a familiar feature on all EU roads by 2019.

The EU Commission has launched a strategy that aims to ensure all new cars can "talk" to new local road and street technologies regardless of what EU country the car will be driven in.

The introduction of such on-street technologies is expected to generate thousands of jobs and millions in revenues for member countries.

Ruth Deasy of the EU office in Dublin says the new strategy will vastly improve road safety.

Interviewee: Ruth Deasy | Clip duration: 0 minutes 17 seconds | Outwords: safety, long term

1084: BEWARE SCAM ADS ONLINE THIS CHRISTMAS
Thursday 01 December 2016
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With 24 shopping days left before Christmas, the European Consumer Centre is advising people to check the authenticity of pop-up ads that appear on social media sites.

It says people have responded to such ads but were told the purchased goods had been dispatched and payment was sought even though no contract had been agreed.

Martina Nee is Head of Communications with the European Consumer Centre in Dublin.

She says there are a number of steps that should be taken prior to parting with money online.

Interviewee: Martina Nee | Clip duration: 0 minutes 20 seconds | Outwords: you're dealing with