Lower Saxony (D)
The first Consumer Advice Centre Lower Saxony was opened in the state capital of Hannover in 1957 and today operates a network of 15 professional counselling centres throughout Lower Saxony.
The Consumer Advice Centre Lower Saxony is a non-profit organization and its work is independent of companies. As a registered association it finances its activities from funding from the State of Lower Saxony and local authorities as well as from project funds of various State and Federal Ministries.
Their services are used by approximately 1.2 million consumers annually who participate in the cost of counselling with a fee.
The Consumer Advice Centre Lower Saxony informs, advises and supports consumers in matters of private consumption and represents consumer interests in business, politics and associations. The organization is involved in the process that consumer topics find input in both the legislative process as well as being heard in business organizations.
This is how the association speaks up for a competent, independent and sustainable consumer protection. The work focuses on the topics of telecommunication and internet (digital world), consumer law, finance, insurance, home and construction, energy, nutrition and food.
This is where consumers are advised individually and independently. In addition, the Consumer Advice Centre Lower Saxony advises by phone or e-mail, thus enabling people who do not live close to counselling centres to have access to the offers of the association as well.
Various events (lectures, informative meetings and campaigns) take place nationwide in various facilities. For this purpose the Consumer Advice Centre cooperates with schools, community colleges or other partners.
Advisory and information activities are complemented by special offers in the form of projects in which the main focus lies on sustainability aspects. For several years, the project "Nutrition in schools and day care" is carried out in educational institutions in Lower Saxony.
Amongst other things it intends to promote sustainable and/or ecological consumption in the field of nutrition and food.
Moreover the Consumer Advice Centre Lower Saxony informs continuously about current consumer issues on its website. With the portal "Vorsicht Falle – Beware! Trap!" it alerts about dubious profiteers and their techniques. Also, the organization uses its social media presence to interact directly with the consumers.
The described consulting and information services have prevented many consumers from making wrong purchase or contract decisions. The risk for consumers to – at worst – lose a lot of money due to wrong decisions out of ignorance increases, particularly as a result of confusing market conditions. The Association Consumer Advice Centre Lower Saxony is politically neutral and nondenominational. Through its work for the economic common good of consumers, it serves exclusive and direct charitable purposes.