Consumer's Telegram April 2014Insert of n. 27 - Editorial office: Centro Europeo Consumatori (European Consumer Centre, Bolzano - Italy)
EUROPEAN SERVICES DIRECTIVE
Convenient beach holidays in Italy? Not for Italian citizens.A South Tyrolean family decide to spend their summer holiday in Apulia. They go to a travel agency in order to book their family holiday at the holiday resort requested. The offer of an Austrian tour operator: 2.618 Euro for two weeks with full-board. Some days after the booking the Austrian tour operator informs the travel agency and the family about a “market barrier“ for Italy of this hotel. Italian consumers are not allowed to book their holidays in the chosen club because of their Italian citizenship.
Price discrimination due to residence or citizenship of the service's consumer is not allowed in the European Community; unless there are objectively justifyied reasons.
All consumers, who have made a similar experience, are kindly asked to notify the ECC Italy, Bolzano calling the phone number 0471/980939 or to send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org_ The European Consumer's Centre (ECC) is going to collect the notifications and inform the responsible authorities in Italy and in Europe.
Buying designer furniture on-line – How to do cope with endless waiting times?Recently nearly every week demoralized consumers have contacted the ECC in Bolzano in order to make use of legal support for furniture that has not been delivered. The matter concerns always the same on-line business that has become well known for its massive advertising measures such as banners, promotional articles in furnishing magazines and a sophisticated designed website. The reported problem is always the same: The delivery times are rarely kept, even though they are specified explicitly. As soon as the delivery date arrives, consumers get notice from the customer service about delays and the delivery date is going to be postponed to some more months. Please read on the site of the ECC about your rights in this case and how to protect oneself already before the order.
Booking your holiday at discount supermarkets – compare offers!A common idea is that you save money shopping in discount supermarkets. Among offers for rice and pasta sauces consumers find in these stores more and more frequently also offers for travels in catalogues and inserts. Is a good bargain guaranteed in this case? You'll find more about this issue on the site of the ECC.
Case of the month
At Christmas 2012 one of our consumers received a voucher over 100 Euro for a flight – the voucher can be redeemed within one year. Our consumer clicked on the website of an Irish airline to book his flight and inserted the information of his voucher. Instead of a booking confirmation an error message appeared on the screen saying that the name on the voucher did not correspond to the name of the main passenger. The consumer immediately contacted the customer service, spent long (and expensive) minutes on the phone, wrote an e-mail and even a registered letter. In the end he asked for help at the network of European Consumer Centres (ECC-Net). ECC Ireland contacted the airline and received an unsatisfactory reply first: „The voucher is not transferable and cannot be used to book a flight for another person.“ However, the consumer had never tried to book a flight for somebody else.
In the meantime the year of validity was over and the deadline expired. ECC Ireland did not give up and contacted the company again, this time with a screenshot of the error message as proof and see what happened: The airline responded by explaining the actual problem. When the consumer bought the voucher, two spaces between the two words that form the consumer's surname were added accidentally. Therefore the booking could not be carried out. If the name is inserted correctly with just one space, the computer wil l not recognize that the name as the same. The airline issued a new voucher and a new deadline for redeeming it: March 2015. Therefore our consumer may still use his Christmas present of the year 2012.