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IP/08/749

Brussels, 15 May 2008

Consumers: EU-UEFA launch helpline for fans travelling to EURO 2008

EU Consumer Commissioner Meglena Kuneva today announced the launch of an EU- UEFA information campaign and helpline to advise fans travelling to EURO 2008 on their consumer rights and to provide support for those who run into problems. The campaign deals with consumer issues – from fake match tickets to transferring tickets in the case of illness, to air travel, roaming charges, EU health insurance and problems shopping abroad. An EU-UEFA online consumer leaflet setting out clear advice for fans travelling to the tournament is available from today at www.euro2008.com as well as on the European Commission website at www.supportersrights.eu. A free phone consumers' rights helpline service will run – in all EU languages – throughout the tournament from June 1st 2008, managed by the Europe Direct Contact Centre. Free phone supporters rights helpline 00800 6 7 8 9 10 11.

Commissioner Kuneva said: "Our message is clear: as an EU citizen you have very strong consumer rights. Know them and use them! We want fans to have the best possible experience when they travel to Euro 2008 – and understanding their consumer rights will help them greatly. This campaign is about giving people practical consumer advice. So the leaflet sets out 10 things you should know before you go and the helpline is there to sort out problems for fans on the ground. Enjoy the tournament!

UEFA President, Michel Platini, said, “I am delighted that UEFA and the European Commission have worked together to create this helpline and produce this guide. This initiative will help fans from all countries to enjoy their stay in Austria and Switzerland.”

The helpline

The EU consumer helpline will be open for the entire month of June 2008, to answer any questions that fans might have on their consumer rights: from what they are entitled to if their flight is cancelled, to what they should do if a product they buy is faulty, to what medical cover they have. The helpline, which is provided with the support of the Europe Direct service, is free-phone[1] from all EU countries and will be available in all EU official languages.

Fans and consumers can call from 9h00 to 18h30 CET on weekdays 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11 from anywhere in the EU. The standard number + 32-2-299.96.96 is available for callers from anywhere in the world (normal charges apply). Fans calling from Switzerland are invited to use the latter.

The helpline will deal with consumer issues – like air passenger rights, shoppers' rights, mobile roaming charges and ticketing – as set out in the leaflet. Where questions are not related directly to consumer issues, the helpline will, where possible, provide alternative contact points for assistance.

Need more information?

The EU-UEFA campaign is being run with the support of the network of 27 European Consumer Centres (ECC Net). The network of ECC centres will provide advice to fans on consumer issues before they leave and provide additional support – contacting companies or following through on complaints – to fans once they get home. The list of 27 European Consumer Centres can be found at:

http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/redress_cons/docs/ecc_network_centers.pdf

While there are European Consumer Centres in countries such as Norway or Iceland, part of the EEA (European Economic Area) there is no ECC in Switzerland.

The European Consumer Centre in Austria will be at the frontline in helping fans and consumers attending fixtures there. A wealth of useful information on consumer rights and on the tournament can be found on its EURO 2008 website in English and German at:

www.europakonsument.at/euro2008
Consumers and fans in Austria can also contact the European Consumer Centre at its "hotline" (German and English spoken - only available in Austria) 0810 - 810 225.

Background: UEFA EURO 2008

The “EURO” is UEFA’s European Football Championship, which takes place every four years. UEFA EURO 2008 will take place in Austria and Switzerland, the joint hosts. Up to 5 million football fans are expected to travel to the tournament, and watch the games both in the stadiums and on large screens in specially-designed fan zones.

The opening match will take place on 7 June in Basel, the final in on 29 June in Vienna. Eight cities across the two countries will host the event. A total of 16 teams will participate in the tournament, divided equally into four groups of four teams. Group A: Switzerland, Czech Republic, Portugal and Turkey; Group B: Austria, Croatia, Germany and Poland; Group C: Netherlands, Italy, Romania and France; Group D: Greece, Sweden, Spain and Russia.

For more information on the EURO 2008 tournament:

See http://www.euro2008.com

For more information on consumer rights:

http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/index_en.htm

For more information on the Europe Direct Service:

http://ec.europa.eu/europedirect/index_en.htm


[1] * Certain mobile telephone operators do not allow access to 00800 numbers or may charge for these calls. In certain cases, these calls may be chargeable from telephone boxes or hotels


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