ConsuWijzer.nl already visited more than a million times
Consumers have consulted the website www.consuwijzer.nl more than one million times since it went online in 2006. ConsuWijzer is the government information desk that gives consumers practical advice about their rights. The visitor to the site remains on the site for an average of five minutes and views five pages. Since January 2008 some 55,000 example letters and info sheets have been downloaded. These practical aids help consumers to write a letter of complaint quickly and easily and give them an understanding of their rights in a specific area.
The total number of personal reports by telephone, post and the contact and complaints form on the website since January 2008 has now reached 42,000. "These figures show clearly that ConsuWijzer fulfils a need", says Frank Heemskerk, State Secretary for Economic Affairs.
Consumers are directed to the site via search engines (more than 50%), by typing in www.consuwijzer.nl directly (some 25%) or through a link on another webpage (also 25%). A new campaign will be starting in September to increase further public awareness of ConsuWijzer.
Advice and signals
The webpages with consumer advice most frequently visited are:
- Comparing and switching energy companies
- information on telephone services (landline and mobile) and the Internet
As well as obtaining advice on his rights, by reporting to ConsuWijzer the consumer also gives a signal to the three enforcement authorities behind ConsuWijzer: the Consumer Authority, the NMa and OPTA. The information desk has received most signals so far about the following:
- guarantees and conformity
- being switched to another telephone company without asking (slamming)
- complaints about Internet providers, including switchover problems
- energy suppliers' techniques in advertising for new customers
- reports on confusing energy bills
Quality marks on ConsuWijzer
In April this year State Secretary Heemskerk launched the quality mark site as part of ConsuWijzer. ConsuWijzer hopes in this way to increase transparency about quality marks and improve their reliability. Only quality marks that have been tested are shown on the site with their test results. At present some 40 quality marks are shown on the site and 13 are being tested.
ConsuWijzer is the information desk for consumers, with practical tips and advice on their rights. The desk, which can be reached on www.consuwijzer.nl and +31 (0)88 - 0707070, is an initiative of the three enforcement authorities of the Ministry of Economic Affairs: the Consumer Authority, the Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) and the Independent Post and Telecommunications Authority (OPTA).