On 12th October the European Commission published the 2018 Consumer Markets Scoreboard. The Consumer Scoreboard provides an overview of how the EU single market works for consumers. There are two kinds of Consumer Scoreboards, the Markets scoreboard and the Conditions Scoreboard which get published in alternate years. This year it is the turn for the Markets Scoreboard which monitors the performance of over 40 markets as experienced by consumers.
Here is a summary of some of the most interesting findings of the scoreboard:
- The overall positive trend of consumers' assessment of markets continues; however there is divergence between different part of the EU. Markets in Western Europe perform better, while markets in South Europe are lacking in performance. The Eastern Europe markets are the ones that show the greatest improvements.
- Services continue to underperform in the Scoreboard with the lowest performing being banking services and real estate.
- The financial situation of consumers plays an important role in their assessment of markets as poorer consumers are, unsurprisingly more negative in their assessment.
- Choice and comparability in utility markets, and especially in electricity, is leaving consumers dissatisfied.
- The highest incident of problems reported (16.9%) was noted for telecommunications, with that percentage being even higher (20.3%) for internet services. While the performance of the markets ranges across countries, with southern countries being less satisfied, the sector continues to be a cause for concern.
Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova responded to the findings of the Scoreboard by pointing out that the 'New Deal for Consumers'and the announced measures, such as a new representative action for consumers should serve to increase consumer trust in the single market.