Article 38 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, approved in Nice in 2000 states that, "Union policies shall ensure a high level of consumer protection", confirming and strengthening to put consumers at the heart of the European policies. But it is only recently, with the implementation of the European Directive 83/2011/EU, that consumers have greater protection with regards to unfair trade practices throughout the internet.
In Italy, in the nearly ten thousand complaints collected by Cittadinanzattiva over the last year from citizens on: telecommunications, transport, energy, banking, insurance and postal services, it emerged that there is a greater need for the protection of the consumer.
There are two important aspects on the complaints: the first on the quality of services and the second on the nature of consumer groups.
For the former, complaints shifted from the quality of services tothe accessibility of these services. In the financial group, it is no coincidence that the over-indebtedness and usury from consumer credits are the main problems. Instead in the energy and telecommunications sector, delayed payments and overpriced bills were the main concerns.
For the latter, complaints were on the nature of the consumer groups, which were encouraged to change their political action by improving their services and management, so as to prevent legal disputes, which were up till now given precedence.
Many associations, including Cittadinanzattiva, are investing and proposing the evaluation of services and consumer information, soliciting for years institutions and companies. Now is the time to collect all these concerns and put them in the system.