Figures from the European Consumer Centre Network (ECC-Net) show that it recovered almost €10 million arising from consumer claims last year.
Its centres offer consumers across the EU advice on their consumer rights and legal protections when shopping and travelling in another EU member state or European Economic Area (EEA) country.
Its activity report for 2022 shows that its legal experts in 29 offices dealt with just over 118,000 queries during the year.
The organisation’s Irish arm, the European Consumer Centre Ireland (ECCI) received 1,665 complaints from Irish consumers against businesses based in the EU and European Economic Area, and 1,506 complaints from European consumers against businesses based in Ireland.
ECCI says that it is the only organisation in Ireland that deals with cross-border consumer-trader disputes in the EU, EEA, and UK.
If Irish consumers have issues with a business based outside of Ireland but within the EU, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) refers them to the ECCI.
CCPC figures show that ‘holidays and travel’ is the sector referred most often to the ECCI, followed by ‘clothing, footwear and accessories’.
The most common types of queries are linked to contract performance, cancellation of contracts, and contract deposits, payments or charges.
The ECCI is currently working on its own annual report for 2022, which will be published at a later date.