08 May 2000

The European Commission has launched a EU-wide network of online helpdesks aimed at dispensing information and advice to consumers on how they can try to settle small disputes over goods and service out of court.

The initiative is a response to the rapid growth in cross-border internet transactions and the difficulty of regulating e-commerce purchases. Said a Euro-spoke: “Problems over deliveries, defective products, or products that do not fit their description should be dealt with by a single one-stop shop national contact point, or 'clearing house' in each member state."

EU Consumer Affairs Commissioner David Byrne urged EU members to have the system in place and working by the second half of the year, hailing it as "an important milestone to give consumers access to simple low-cost and effective means of resolving cross-border conflicts".

Sourced from: BBC Online Business News