Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford has welcomed a European Parliament call for better protection for consumers deemed ‘vulnerable’ because of factors such as age, health, learning disability or lack of internet access.
Given the range of situations in which a consumer can be at a disadvantage, there is no EU legislation to cover all eventualities. Ideas put forward by MEPs include incentives for businesses to adopt voluntary initiatives for improved consumer rights, examination of the impact of aggressive advertising on children, better consumer information and education campaigns, and encouragement for accessible formats for those with impaired eyesight.
Sarah Ludford commented:
“All consumers benefit from clear rules. For instance financial services or passenger compensation can confound most people, let alone those who struggle to access information or find the correct channels for complaints.”
“So the best way to help weaker consumers is usually through effective general consumer rights laws and publicity on how to get redress.”
“But when we know some consumers are paying three times more than others for flights, some specific initiatives might help the less savvy to get the best deals too. The European Commission should look at specific action to strengthen rights in problematic sectors such as financial services, transport and internet use.”
Notes to Editors
The report has been drafted by the European Parliament’s committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection and the (draft) resolution can be read at: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&reference=A7-2012-0155&language=EN&mode=XML