The energy and price crisis has led to many questions from consumers. The consumer advice center in the country also notices this. It is now also about emotional help.

Rostock (dpa/mv) – The crises of 2022 have also had a clear impact on the work of the consumer center in the north-east. With a view to inquiries and advice in the area of ​​energy and price crises, one can definitely speak of a record year, said the head of the consumer center MV, Wiebke Cornelius, the German Press Agency. According to her, around 1000 more consultations on the subject of energy were carried out compared to the previous year.

“However, one should not underestimate the fact that this is no longer just about content-related advice on energy issues.” Rather, it is also about listening, giving comfort and advising in crisis situations. “This represents a whole new dimension in the everyday life of the consumer center.”

According to preliminary figures, the consumer advice center had a total of more than 14,000 consultations in 2022. In the previous year there were around 9000. According to Cornelius, this also includes consultations at trade fairs. Because direct contact and events were still significantly more difficult due to the corona pandemic in 2021, the number was comparatively low that year.

“We will certainly take these crises and issues with us into the coming year,” said Cornelius, for example when the utility bills fluttered into the mailboxes. As long as inflation remains high, credit, insurance and debt will probably continue to play a larger role.

There were fewer consultations on some topics this year, also because up to a quarter of the employees were ill at times. In addition, given the increased demand for topics such as energy, she cannot “clone” her team members,” explained Cornelius.

She referred to the offers of the consumer advice center on the Internet, including calculators on energy issues. Open questions for the future are how to better reach people in rural areas. Sudden crises, such as the recent corona pandemic or the war in Ukraine, also presented the consumer advice center with the challenge of having to react quickly to new topics.