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Consumer's Telegram Dicember 2013Insert of n. 83 - Editorial office: Centro Europeo Consumatori (European Consumer Centre, Bolzano - Italy)
Santa Claus is looking for presents on the netInternet-shopping is going to increase also in 2013. The World Wide Web surely offers a good platform, though, appropriate safety measures will have to be taken. Just now, during Christmas time, the shops around the corner offer customers the possibility to change the present after Christmas – usually until year-end – in case the present does not suit or the donee does not like it. Online purchases with its classification as distance sales business guarantees the right of withdrawal of several days but the Christmas present has to be on time for being under the Christmas tree and therefore delivery deadlines have to be taken into account. This law provides, if nothing different has been agreed, a delivery of at least 30 days. In case of being late, one should be ensured by a written e-mail confirmation that the present is going to be delivered until Christmas. If it is even worth buying a present online depends – generally with small amounts – on the delivery costs and conditions. Quite often especially Italy belongs to the categories of countries in which high costs of delivery will be charged or in which a delivery is not possible at all.
Report on the implementation of Services Directives publishedThe network of the European Consumer's Centres (ECC-Net) has published a report on the implementation for Services Directives in Europe. The report examines complaints of consumers about prices and conditions applied by dealers and service providers depending on the consumer's citizenship or nationality. A Bulgarian consumer, for example, clicked accidentally the United Kingdom as her country of residence while booking an online a trip to a French leisure park. The consumer corrected the mistake and so she found out that Bulgarian customers were bound to pay about 500 Euro more than British consumers. The report can be downloaded.
Public consultationsUntil 31st January 2014 you may participate at a public survey performed by the European Commission to review the relevant provisions of the regulation about cooperation within consumer protection. Here you find the link to the online questionnaire.
Case of the month
Some praise is in order: customer service that worksA German consumer bought an Italian phone card for his mobile that proved to be unusable. The Italian operator immediately agreed to refund the (relatively low) amount. The consumer contacted the network of European Consumer Centres, as there were difficulties with the bank transfer. ECC Italy contacted the operator who answered immediately and it became clear where the problem was: The consumer had made one little mistake by supplying the details of his bank account and therefore the transfer could not succeed. The operator showed to be very cooperative and asked several times if the amount finally reached the consumer. Even though the amount was a small one, the customer service of the operator was great.
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