While not going as far as in the United States, European consumers have been encouraged to stand up for their shoppers’ rights.
The European Commission has published a green paper surrounding collective redress (class action) in cases of breach of consumer law.
Illegal practices can dupe people of their cash, provoke unfair competition and distort markets.
Consumer protection commissioner Meglena Kuneva in Brussels said enough is enough:
“We must learn from the US experience. But we also need to recognise that US style class action has many specificities, built mainly around what I call a toxic cocktail of a combination of elements, such as contingency fees, punitive damages and pre-trial discovery. We will not have this one in Europe.”
Kuneva is seeking feedback from all interested parties.
Studies indicate that when consumers want to pursue a case, they face substantial barriers in terms of access, effectiveness and affordability.
The aim of Brussels’ initiative is to ensure that victims of overcharging, misleading advertising or outright scams can get compensated for their losses.