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Consumer Twittering – there is potential for greater interaction

I see that the EU Commissioner for Consumers, Meglena Kuneva, has just started using Twitter. Her first message was to announce a web chat to take place tomorrow – the details are here.

Have you recently bought a timeshare and are having second thoughts?

Have you ever won a “free” holiday abroad and ended up paying for it? Make sure your prize really is free, and find out from Commissioner Kuneva about other unfair commercial practices that you might fall victim to.

How often do you visit a budget airline website and come away with only the ticket you wanted to purchase? Are you fed up with inadvertently buying extra items, like insurance, you don’t need?

Are you planning a package holiday this summer? Chat to Commissioner Kuneva about your consumer rights and don’t get taken for a ride by a cowboy operator.

If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, or are interested in finding out more, then join us here to talk to the EU Consumer Commissioner Meglena Kuneva live online. She will tell you what she and her team are doing for you as an EU citizen and consumer within all of these areas and more.

If you’re interested, you should go back to this link tomorrow between 3.30 and 5pm tomorrow afternoon to see more.

This is an interesting development which could be developed into so much more when it comes to answering consumer questions. I do my best here to answer any consumer questions that come in via e-mail or through the comments on the website, but I’m only one person. I’m particularly keen that any questions that come in are published with the answers in order to share the knowledge and experiences with others.

Personally, I’d like to see more interaction between our Irish consumer protection and advocacy organisations and the consumer at large. In the same way that many companies these days are using Twitter, for example, to interact with their customers, it could be of fantastic benefit to consumers to be able to submit their queries via Twitter and get a realtime response.

Imagine the ultimate possibility: you’re in a store and you’re getting guff from the shop assistant about them not providing refunds and you can access instant assistance from the experts as to what you’re rights are, and what you could do in any particular situation.

Anyone want to try it? Given my work committments during the day, I can’t follow up immediately, but if anyone has any consumer related questions that they’d like answered via Twitter, just go here to submit them and I’ll respond as soon as I can.

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