Consumer's Telegram July/August 2014Insert of n. 48/55 - Editorial office: Centro Europeo Consumatori (European Consumer Centre, Bolzano - Italy)
New laws to protect European consumersSince 13th June 2014 there have been a lot of news concerning European consumer protection. The Italian legislator has transposed the EU directive and has changed some articles of the Italian Consumer Code. Distance contracts are most affected, mainly in the section of e-commerce but also those contracts negotiated away from business premises. Great importance, for example, is attached to the sellers duties to provide information before signing a contract. Furthermore, on a European level the deadline for the withdrawal from a distance contract or a contract negotiated away from business premises has been unified: Now in all EU member States the deadline is 14 calendar days (in Italy it was 10 working days so far). Also the delivery of goods or the performance of a service has to be provided within 30 days after the order, unless another deadline has been agreed. You can find more information here.
Beware of false telephone bills!Several consumers contacted the European Consumer Centre (ECC) Bolzano during the last weeks because they had received requests for payment from alleged German telephone providers (Deutsche Telekom or Vodafone) via e-mail. It contained a dangerous link with the request to download the file with the bill. It cannot be repeated often enough: Beware of ZIP- and PDF-Files both attached to e-mails and in links in e-mails and SMS! They may redirect you to a fraudulent website without you noticing it and install malware on your hard disk or induce consumers to provide sensible data.
HOLIDAY AND TRAVEL
Roaming fees in EU are cheaper nowSince 1st July making and receiving phone calls, sending SMS and mobile data roaming have become considerably cheaper again (not so out of the EU!). Tthe fee that will be charged, for example, for every Megabyte (MB) downloaded, must not exceed the amount of 20 cent plus VAT. If the holiday destination is out of the EU, for example, Egypt, Turkey or Tunisia, phoning or mobile surfing could become very expensive. More information about this subject on the site of the European Consumer Centre Bolzano.
ECC-NET: TRAVEL APP
New Travel-App for EU-ConsumersThe network of European Consumer Centres has developed a Travel-App for smartphones and tablets. The ECC-net: Travel App helps to overcome difficulties on travels within the EC, Iceland and Norway and informs about consumer's rights. You will find more information on the website of the European Consumer Centre Bolzano.
Case of the MonthMr Playitsave belongs to the cathegory of consumers who, when booking a hotel, want to be sure that they are able to cancel their stay also at a short notice. He finds his hotel in Venice through a booking website which ensures – on the German version of the site - that cancellation up to 72 hours before the scheduled arrival is free of charge. Much to his regret Mr Playitsave could not go on holiday after all and wanted to benefit from the cancellation for free. However, the hotel replied that this special room cannot be cancelled and the full fee has to be charged. This exception is stated on the homepage only in English and not in German like the general conditions of cancellation. Therefore, the consumer contacts his European Consumer Centre in Germany which forwards the case to ECC Italy.
The advisor in Bolzano confronts the hotel keepers with the complaint and expects a hostile reaction. However, contrary to expecations, the hotel keepers admit their error and are prepared to refund the whole amount paid.