Co-funded by
the European Union
European Consumer Centre (ECC) Italy Bolzano office

Consumer's Telegram February 2017

Insert of n. 13 - Editorial office: Centro Europeo Consumatori (European Consumer Centre, Bolzano - Italy)

Multilevel-Marketing and Pyramid Schemes

Italian Competition Authority adopts measures against promoting cryptocurrency "OneCoin" in Italy after notice from ECC South Tyrol and ECC
The Italian regulation authority AGCM issued a preventive order in the course of an investigation procedure. This decision bans every kind of promotion and distribution of the cryptocurrency OneCoin in Italy. This currency is distributed through the websites and; the third website went offline in the meantime. According to the Italian antitrust authority these pages try to show decided advantages and want to attract a large number of consumers who should invest as much money as possible into the system, which would then result in a pyramid scheme that is prohibited by Italian law. More information about this issue you will find here.

Car Rental

Competition authority convicts Goldcar to pay a fine of 2 million Euro because of unfair commercial practices
Many consumers having rented a car at Goldcar contacted and are still contacting the European Consumer's Centre (ECC) Italy. In summary, consumers reported issues such as insufficient transparency in terms of processing fees of the fuel tariff Flex Fuel or the techniques for new damage diagnosis regarding cars. After reports filed by the ECC and the European Consumers Centre South Tyrol (VZS) the competition authority (AGCM) initiated legal proceedings against Goldcar (proceeding no. PS10214). As a result the AGCM noticed two different unfair commercial practices. Read more on our homepage.

20 Years

European Consumers Centre - Successful model on European stage: 61.000 enquiries and advice
In the occasion of its 20th anniversary the European Consumer's Centre (ECC) in Bolzano/Bozen in collaboration with the Consumer's Centre South Tyrol (VZS) invited to a meeting on the 16th of January into the Palais Widmann. "In the recent twenty years the ECC with its committed and competent team has become an important player and serious partner on the European stage - a model for the way how consumer protection can work throughout Europe", stated the managing director of the Consumer Centre South Tyrol, Walther Andreaus. In twenty years of activity the ECC Bolzano Bozen was able to answer more than 61.000 inquiries or give expert advice and only in 2016 the ECC could win back nearly 150.000 Euro for its consumers. Read more here.

Case of the Month
This case of the month shows how a GPS application of a smartphone is related to car rental and affirms a particular importance. An Italian consumer rented a car in Germany. Even though he had respected strictly the conditions of the rental contract and had never overpassed the daily limit of 100 km, the car rental agency charged him an additional amount of approx. 900 Euro after the return of the rented vehicle: Allegedly, he travelled 5.000 km in two days. The consumer could not clarify the situation on the spot and asked the European Consumer's Centre (ECC) Bolzano/Bozen for help emphasizing that he was travelling not more than 250 km in two days. The ECC subsequently demanded the data from the GPS of the consumer's smartphone in order to testify the effectively travelled kilometres. These data were transferred to the ECC Germany that contacted the car rental agency. In the end, this agency refunded the extra charge to the consumer because his delivered data from the GPS were incontestable and could not be objected to.