The European Consumer Centres Network recovers over €4m on behalf of consumers impacted by COVID-19-related issues
Since March 2020 the European Consumer Centres Network received a record number of cross-border complaints from consumers all over Europe. To date, the Network has received 170,000 complaints and has obtained over €4m worth of refunds on behalf of consumers impacted by COVID-19-related issues, mostly pertaining to cancelled flights, shut-down hotels, suspended transport services and problematic online purchases.
By far, the most common and stringent issue of the pandemic is still the inability or extreme difficulty in obtaining a refund for cancelled travel. Since the beginning of the Coronavirus crisis, many operators have gone out of business while others opted to give consumers temporary vouchers instead of cash refunds. For most consumers who were themselves affected by the financial repercussions of the pandemic, this is not acceptable. Nor is it acceptable under consumer law. Many got in touch with the individual centres of the European Consumer Centres Network, which secured refunds for complainants in almost 70% of cases handled.