Consumer organizations play an important role in providing consumers with independent advice. This advice assists consumers when they purchase a new (complex) product or when they encounter a problem with a trader or service provider after they have purchased the product. To solicit this advice, consumers are traditionally expected to visit consumer advice centers. But research and experience in many EU member states show that many consumers that would benefit from such advice, do not visit the advice centers.
Hence, some member states experiment with new forms of advice services. The European Commission’s New Consumer Agenda recognizes these “non-traditional” forms of consumer advice and foresees to support initiatives providing local advice to consumers.
Against this background, DG JUST commissioned this study to map initiatives in the 27 EU Member States that provide advice to (vulnerable) consumers at local level and identify good practices. This new study will be conducted jointly by VVA and ConPolicy from November 2021 until October 2022.
Further information on the project can be found here.