26 May 2004
AMSTERDAM — Germans are on the top of the list of nationalities who complain about Dutch businesses and services, according to a new report. The British, Belgians and Spaniards are not far behind when it comes to criticising Dutch camping sites and recreation parks.
Consumer watchdog SCIP said Wednesday it received 545 complaints last year, three times as many as in 2002.
The majority of complaints from Germans in 2003 were about the high prices charged by Dutch camping sites. But many Germans were also outraged by poor water and electricity supplies on the sites.
Lotteries in the Netherlands, banking services, internet providers, swimming pools and car repairs were also sources of irritation for foreigners visiting the Netherlands.
But Dutch people were not shy about criticising services provided by their European neighbours either, with German and Spanish businesses taking the brunt of the Dutch ire.
The Belgians and French did not escape criticism either, as the Dutch complained about difficulties using internet services and banking in those countries.
SCIP currently works with 17 “Clearing Houses” in the European Union, Iceland and Norway which work to channel complaints by a citizen of one country about a service or business in another.
The European Union also has a network of European Consumer Centres (ECC). The aim is to promote consumer confidence in the European internal market.
The Netherlands does not have its own ECC yet and most consumer complaints about Dutch businesses in the Netherlands are made to the consumer watchdog, Consumentenbond.
[Copyright Novum Nieuws 2004]
Subject: Dutch news