UK INTERNATIONAL CONSUMER CENTRE THROUGH THE YEARS

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Intro

There’s no doubt that looking to the future makes us fondly remember the past. So, with our eyes on what lies ahead, we consider what each year since our inception in 2007 has brought us.

Our aim ultimately, as always, is to provide free advice and support to consumers who have a dispute with a trader based in a European country outside the UK. The only thing that’s really changed for UK consumers since the UK left the EU is that we are now able to help them with disputes over purchases made in an increasingly large number of non-European countries.

Although we are no longer part of the European Consumer Centre Network (ECC-Net) – because of the UK departure from the EU – we continue to work alongside the 27 centres in the EU, plus Iceland and Norway, in order to help UK consumers.

The UKICC now has relationships in place to share and handle cases from 10 non-EU countries: Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Mongolia, Malaysia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, Mexico and Switzerland. As we move into a new phase for the future, we are looking to increase the number of countries we have working relationships with across the globe.

UKICC Service Director, Andy Allen, said: “These relationships aim to support the resolution of disputes between UK consumers and traders based abroad, resulting in more confident and empowered consumers who are making use of global markets.

“We don’t know what the future holds for us, but are hopeful that the UK Government continues to understand the critical role the UKICC performs in the UK consumer protection landscape. We sincerely hope that the future is one in which our valuable UKICC service is retained.

“For 14 years, we have helped hundreds of thousands of consumers and hope we are able to continue assisting them throughout 2022 and beyond.

“At the moment, we are still very much in business; we want to be able to build on what we’ve achieved so far and evolve our service for the future. In a world where there is lots of uncertainty at the moment, UK consumers need to know that they can rely on the UKICC to be there for them.

“Our wish is that we can continue to be a beacon of hope for consumers into 2022 and beyond. Without the UKICC, UK consumers would be left without the support they need. So we hope that the outlook for both us and UK consumers is promising.

“Our message is: we’re still here, we’re still helping and we’re still free.”

Since we started in 2007, the UKECC (which was the original name for the UKICC until earlier in 2021), has helped hundreds of thousands of UK consumers with their problem purchases in the following main areas: buying goods and services, online shopping, internet auctions, holidays, timeshare and holiday clubs, air travel.

Following the UK’s departure from the EU, our service has been funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and is delivered by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute www.tradingstandards.uk

Consumers can make contact with the UK International Consumer Centre via the website – www.ukecc.net – or by phone on 01268 886 690 Monday-Friday between 10am and 4pm.

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