The European Consumer Centres Network activity report for 2022 here
reveals our legal experts in 29 offices across EU Members States and EEA countries have dealt with a total of 118,142 inquiries and consumer complaints from consumers all over Europe and assisted them in recovering €9,904,715 in consumer claims.
According to the European Consumer Centres Network’s complaints management system maintained by the European Commission, the European Consumer Centre Ireland received 1,665 complaints from Irish consumers against businesses based in the EU and EEA, and 1,506 complaints from European consumers against businesses based in Ireland.
Also in 2022, the Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Commission’s “Statistics report on consumer contacts to the CCPC helpline 1 January – 31 December 2022” hereCCPC-Contacts-Report-Jan-Dec-2022
reveals that referrals to the European Consumer Centre Ireland were the second highest in 2022 among the top seven organisations to which Irish consumers were referred or signposted by the CCPC in 2022.
The European Consumer Centre is the only organisation in Ireland that deals with cross-border consumer-trader disputes. According to the CCPC report 2022, 8% of its consumer contacts were in connection with UK and EU consumer complaints, which would have been referred to ECC Ireland.
According to the CCPC report, when Irish consumers contact the CCPC about an issue with a business based outside Ireland but within the EU, they are referred to the European Consumer Centre, which supports consumers with cross-border issues and complaints and operates a dispute resolution service for consumers and traders based in different EU countries.
The top five sectors and industries recorded by the CCPC in 2022 for its referrals of Irish consumers to ECC Ireland were
in connection with these top issues arising from the complaints of Irish consumers referred by CCPC to ECC Ireland in 2022
One of the issues identified by CCPC report 2022, which confirms research by ECC Ireland, is that Irish consumers are confused when shopping or engaging with .ie websites, which are in fact not based in Ireland, but abroad. This is an example from the CCPC contacts report
Research by the European Consumer Ireland carried out in 2021 here reveals that during the COVID-19 pandemic and in the aftermath of Brexit, many EU and non-EU businesses have set up .ie Ireland domain websites and webshops – however, selling and shipping to Irish consumers on these websites are conducted from outside Ireland.
According to the latest .IE Domain Profile Report 2022 here, “91% of all .ie domains are registered on the island of Ireland” with the rest registered by businesses abroad, based mainly in these countries:
The European Consumer Centre Ireland is at the forefront of the cooperation relationship with the now non-EU United Kingdom, represented by the UK International Consumer Centre, which supports consumers in cross-border complaints. In 2022, the ECC-Net handled 1,639 complaints raised by European consumers with UK traders; many of these originated with Irish consumers.
Read ECC Ireland’s advice on how to shop on international .ie websites here.
The European Consumer Centre Ireland’s own annual report on its 2022 activities is in progress and will be published in due course.