The European Consumer Centre Network
The ECC is a Franco-German association based in Kehl, Germany, and created in 1993 thanks to a political decision from both countries. It was funded by member states, the European Union and private partners and it is the only organization of this kind to be fully binational. The Kehl ECC is part of the network made of the 30 ECC in Europe. Its activity aims at providing consumers better trust in the European market.
Although not so well known, the ECC can be a valuable help for European citizens. For instance, among its responsibilities, it can :
- Inform and advise consumers about their rights in Europe
- Promote mediation
- Provide free legal assistance to consumers in the event of litigation with a professional for certain disputes.
Its role as mediator is very important, because it provides numerous benefits. As a matter of fact, mediation permits to resolve disputes much quicker than a court (approximately 2 months). Thanks to mediation, the ECC resolves 70% of disputes, knowing that e-commerce represents now nearly ⅔ of the total disputes.
News ! Since January 2017, if a conflit opposing a professional operator to a consumer occurs, the professional must propose a mediation. As a result, websites must offer in priority mediation to settle consumer disputes and inform consumers of this procedure into their Terms and Conditions.