Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband – vzbv
vzbv is the German national umbrella organisation of 16 consumer organisations in the 16 regional states of Germany (Verbraucherzentralen – Consumer Centers) and 25 socio-political organisations with interest in consumer issues. It is a non-governmental, non-profit association, advocating for consumer rights and representing their interests vis-à-vis legislative and executive bodies, and suppliers of goods and services at national, European and international level. vzbv has experience in all consumer issues, particularly in consumer information, consumer advice and consumer complaint systems which is handled by the 16 Consumer Centers (one in each State of Germany), members of vzbv, with 190 local consumer advice offices throughout Germany. vzbv is listed as an authorised organisation to bring cases of unfair commercial practices to court (“Unterlassungsklage”) and to claim compensation on behalf of consumers (“Einzugsklage”).vzbv is a member of the international consumer organisation Consumers International (CI) and a founding member of BEUC.
- Food: vzbv is providing the website ‘Food Clarity’ to consumers who feel misled by product packaging (www. lebensmittelklarheit.de). It shows 10,000 reports and enquiries.
- Financial Services: vzbv and Consumer Centres launched the Financial Market Watchdog to show the need for systematic market monitoring of financial markets. vzbv successfully advocated for the rights of account holders in several court proceedings.
- Digital World: vzbv had been advocating for a strong policy on personal data protection and has brought cases on to court.
- Founded in 2000 after 3 consumer organisations merged: Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Verbraucherverbände (AGV) founded in 1953, Verbraucherschutzverein (VSV), founded in 1966, and Verbraucherinstitut (VI), founded in 1978.
- A founding member of BEUC
- 140 staff
- Members in 2013: 41 (16 Consumer Centres with 190 advice centres, 25 consumer oriented organisations) and 9 supporting members.