In 2011, over 70 000 consumers received free advice and assistence from the European Consumer Centres Network.
The centres, established in every EU country (plus Norway and Iceland), offer advice before purchasing something cross-border and assistance in case something goes wrong.
In 2011, the majority (ca. 54%) of the cases handled by ECCs was either solved directly (ca. 41%) or handled to other organisations (ca. 13%). When a solution could not be reached, this was largely due to lack of cooperation on the side of businesses, but also, in increased proportion since the previous year, some of the claims were simply found to be... unfounded. If you are experiencing problems, then, it might be definitely worth a try.
More facts and contacts (including where to find ECCs in the various countries) can be found in the easy-to-read report brochure.