Money MattersNewssliderSpain


EU expat or native? Here’s something that could be of invaluable help. AECOSAN (Spanish Consumer Affairs, Food Safety andNutrition Agency) has
launched the 
EuropeanConsumer Centre – Spain (ECC
Spain) website with free and customized
information for the public



Source: Gobierno de España/Ministerio de Sanidad, Servicios Sociales e Igualdad

AECOSAN, under the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality, is a new platform for the defence of consumer rights, with free and customized information.

What to do if your trip is cancelled? What are unfair trade practices? What if you want to switch your account from one bank to another? How to avoid unwanted advertising? These are just some of the many questions that the European Consumer Centre (ECC) will try to answer clearly and practically for consumers’ benefit.

The ECC is a site where consumers are informed of their rights when purchasing and contracting goods and services, whether in person or online.

Besides informing consumers and advising those who believe their rights have been infringed, the website contains information on the various ways of lodging a complaint. It can be used to lodge complaints with ECC Spain, which will assess whether consumer rights have been violated and offer information, legal advice and assistance in a personalised and free manner.

It also provides access to the ODR platform (Online Dispute Resolution), a tool developed by the European Commission to resolve disputes online and aimed at helping consumers and retailers resolve disputes relating to the purchase of goods and services via the Internet. Similarly, people will have access to the European small-claims process, a legal system designed to simplify and expedite cross-border claims of up to €5,000.

The European Consumer Centre Spain

Flashmob at the Spanish telephone company Telefonica offices in Barcelona

The European Consumer Centre Spain is a project that’s co-financed by the European Union and the Spanish Consumer Affairs, Food Safety and Nutrition Agency. It forms part of the ECC-Net (European Consumer Centre-Network) comprising a total of 30 European Consumer Centres in each of the 28 Member States of the European Union plus Norway and Iceland.

Since they were set up in 2005, each of these centres has been offering free and personalised assistance and advice to national consumers experiencing problems with transactions made in other countries of the ECC-Net network. CEC Spain will be able to act on their behalf when they have lodged a complaint against a company and have not obtained a satisfactory response. It will manage their claim in collaboration with other European centres in an attempt to reach an amicable agreement between the parties and provide all the information necessary in their own language.

The goal is to help the public know their rights as consumers so that they can enjoy all the advantages offered by the EU’s single market in an environment where the cultural diversity and legal differences of Europe can lead to situations that are complicated to resolve when making purchases overseas.


Featured image/Magnus D via Flickr, CC BY2.0. Partial face block supplied.
Flashmob/Dani del Sol, via Flickr, CC BY-SA2.0
(Images are generic. They are not the people in the article.)