Just under a year since the last meeting, campaigners for the consumer’s and citizen´s right to choose between electronic and physical mail met earlier this month in London, home to the Keep Me Posted UK campaign.
The aim of the meeting was to build on best practices, tips received and share our experiences. It was also an opportunity to help interested countries have a better sense on how to start a campaign.
In Austria, despite having an internet penetration of 80%, the country still maintains a consumer-friendly legislation. The focus of the campaign is to educate citizens on about their rights. This is especially important as e-government is becoming a topic in Austria.
The Spanish campaign Yo Decido Como Recibo (“I decide how I receive”) continued to engage in informing Spanish consumers about their right to choose. It continues to put pressure on banks and service providers to comply with this law. In 2016, the consumer protection agency issued a report on illegal practices in forcing customers to receive digital invoices which fuelled inspection measures to ensure companies comply.
The Keep Me Posted UK campaign adopted a new motto “Better for all, essential for some” and celebrated their 4th anniversary with a large number of supporting organisations and charities. An increasing number of companies have adopted the Keep Me Posted mark of distinction and realise the benefits it brings to their customers.
In Slovenia the campaign “Send me a letter” has made strides since it began last year. The focus is on achieving legal certainty for consumers to have the right to choose. They plan to also introduce the “mark of distinction” to companies.
Newcomer from the Netherlands are excited about the prospects of a campaign in their country, given the recent digital developments. For example, digital mailboxes have been created for the citizens and it was reported that many have activated it but not utilised it.
Campaigners had the opportunity to meet and discuss with Lucy Anderson, a member of the European Parliament since 2014, representing London for the Labour Party in the UK. Lucy is a strong supporter of the campaign and believes that “choice is critical for consumers”. During the discussion, Lucy brought a number of concrete suggestions for both the EU and national campaigners.
Consumer organisations are central to all our campaigns. Therefore, campaigners listened intently to Arnold Pindar, president of ANEC’s presentation in which he shared the perspectives from a consumer organisation. Enshrined in the basic eight basic consumer rights are choice, inclusiveness and accessibility.
Keep Me Posted EU is very happy to see all these developments across Europe and is looking forward to even more!