Wednesday, 9 July 2008

The European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net)

The European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net)

Who can you turn to if you have a problem with a product you bought in another European country?
Who can inform you of your rights and what you are entitled to as a European consumer?
If you have a complaint against a company or you are in a dispute with a trader, who can assist you and help solve your case?

The Network of European Consumer Centres is there to help with such questions and any other problems you may have concerning your activities as a consumer in Europe. The aim is that you should feel as confident when shopping in another country as you do at home.

List of centres Updated 16-06-2008 and centres' websites.

What is the ECC-Net?

The European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) is an EU-wide network designed to promote consumer confidence by advising citizens on their rights as consumers and providing easy access to redress, particularly in cases where the consumer has made a cross-border purchase.

The Network was created by merging two previously existing networks: the European Consumer Centres or 'Euroguichets', which provided information and assistance on cross-border issues; and the European Extra-Judicial Network or "EEJ-Net" which helped consumers to resolve their disputes through alternative dispute resolution schemes (ADRs) using mediators or arbitrators.

The aim of the European Consumer Centres is to provide consumers with a wide range of services, from providing information on their rights to giving advice and assistance with their complaints and the resolution of disputes.

What services do the centres provide?

They inform consumers about the opportunities offered by the Internal Market.
They advise individuals facing a consumer-related problem and support them in pursuing cross-border complaints.
They advise on out-of-court-settlement procedures for consumers throughout Europe.
They provide consumers with easy and informed access to such procedures across borders.
They co-operate with each other and with other European networks such as the FIN-NET (Financial Network), SOLVIT and the European Judicial network in civil and commercial matters.
They provide information on EU and national legislation and case law
They conduct cross border comparisons of such things as prices, legislation and other issues of consumer concern.
They provide the European Commission with important ‘grassroots’ information on consumer concerns.

More info here

Tuesday, 8 July 2008


This is BELGACOM, the biggest telecommunication company in Belgium:

It looks very impressive. But, actually the reality of this company can be visualised in the followting pictures (I took myself):

Yes exactly, that is the real BELGACOM. A company that has had a privileged situation as being the ONLY telecommunications operator until not long ago. In other words, they were the kings of the jungle in Belgium. No one could touch them.

And what happens when you are the king, the number 1....????? It happens that you can only go down, if you cross your arms and wait. That is what happens with that telephone booth.

The downfall of BELGACOM is a reality with the entrance of competitive operators (VOO, TELE2, ELEVEN, etc..). Of course The King is defending its territory with its big teeth. But not for long time.

Today I am going to talk about the customer service of BELGACOM, I wouldn't actually call it like that, but they do. My last experience with them, was very dissapointing and disgusting. They don't care about you as a customer, the philosophy they aply is: "if youdon't like you go to another telecom company". Well I see. They don't give a shit about the quality of telecom. service they provide, and their e-mail and telephone for customers is really ....sad, and pointless, it just makes oyu loose your time.

We have a contract with belgacom for the ADSL Internet connection in my office. (needless to say I think the offer of ADSL connections is very poor and expensive) Well, very simple, we wanted to change the type of ADSL connection, and have a fixed internet address (IP address). We filled up the form, and send it by fax. We asked (TWO TIMES) them specifically by email: "WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO MAKE THE CHANGE? AND ARE YOU GOING TO CUT OUT INTERNET CONNECTION? iF SO WHEN?"

They replied, in other works, "you will receive a letter announcing this change, and the internet access will not be cut".

Internet access is essential in our office. Without it, we cannot work. Maytimes, we have deadlines at concrete days and time (e.g. MOnday 16th, at 17h GMT+1) for submitting reports, or projects. If we do not submit it before the deadline, all the work done is lost, (à la poubelle), and I mean, several weeks of work.

Guess what happened.....Murphys Law???? NO, NO, NO. I call it BELGACOM SERVICE. They cut our internet access during almost two hours on a monday working day, and without previous notification. The letter came later. Can you believe this?

This is not everything. When I called the customer service to notify the interruption of service, they were not capable of let me know WHEN they were going to re-establish the internet access in my office. Basically our options were: WAIT AND SEE....

Well, my piece of advice to BELGACOM is this: wait and see how you will end up, once all barriers for competition are gone.

Friday, 4 July 2008


Yes, because sometimes, just a small and tiny thing can make you so happy.

Today I sent an email to the Customer Service (Service Apres Vente) of the company CHAFFOTEAUX. It is a company that belongs to the big international group MTS.
The main business of CHAFFOTEAUX are all kind of WATER HEATERS for domestic applications.

They replied to my email just a few hours later and solved my problem. Isn't it that great?? Where can you find better service here???

A big applause for them!!!çI am so happy when things just work as they are supposed.

et Merci!