Traders among Europe’s worst

IRISH traders are among those who attract the most complaints from customers across Europe.

That is despite the fact Ireland is so small and engages in so little web trading, an area where complaints are most common.

The statistics emerged in the European Consumer Centre (ECC) Ireland annual report which placed this country as the sixth worst for consumer complaints in Europe in 2007.

It said the reason why Ireland ranked so poorly “may be provided by the high amount of neighbouring trade with Britain and also the presence of one big Irish airline company (unnamed) that trades through Europe”.

The report found that 54% of complaints against Irish traders came from other European residents.

In 2007, the biggest area of complaint received was air passenger rights. Of the total of 3,584 complaints, 742 related to air travel. Of those complaints, 32% required ECC intervention with the airline on the consumer’s behalf.

The biggest problem area was luggage, whether delayed or lost. There were also issues with cancellation, delays and other booking-related issues.

The organisation said air complaints are growing rapidly as a problem. It found that across the ECC network, complaints relating to air passenger rights had almost doubled in the last 12 months.

The next biggest areas of complaint regarded electronic goods (421), followed by cars (304) and entertainment services (190).

Of the total complaints received, 52% related to purchases of goods and services made online, 21% to purchases made on the sellers’ premises and 22% by other forms of distance selling such as by catalogue or over the phone.

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