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Consumer Complaints by Tourists on the Rise

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Consumer Complaints by Tourists on the Rise

Cars near Dettifoss

A crowded parking lot by Dettifoss waterfall. Photo: Northeast Iceland Police Department/Facebook.

There has been a large increase in the number of complaints sent to the European Consumer Centre (ECC) in Iceland since the beginning of last year. In 2015, 175 complaints were processed, representing a 65 percent increase from the previous year, Vísir reports.

ECC in Iceland is housed by the Icelandic Consumer Agency, and its role is to assist consumers who have a dispute with sellers of products or services across borders within the European Economic Area.

In 2015, 58 inquiries were processed, 54 simple complaints and 63 cases involving a dispute which had to be solved with the intervention of ECC staff.

“Clearly, there has been a large increase, whether it’s caused by the increasing flow of tourists or by increased consumer awareness of the ECC network,” stated Ívar Halldórsson, lawyer for the ECC. He explained that most of the disputes handled by the center have to do with foreign tourists who have run into some kind of trouble regarding car rentals or airlines in Iceland.

He mentioned, as an example, a tourist from the Czech Republic who rented a car in Iceland last summer. As the rental car he was driving was overtaken by a 4x4, a stone was thrown into the former’s windshield, creating a crack. The owner of the 4x4 admitted to causing the damage, and a report was written. Nonetheless, the tourist was charged EUR 572 (USD 639) for damages. The tourist contacted the ECC, which handled the case, and in the end, the car rental issued the tourist a full refund.

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