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

New judgement about right of withdrawal when buying matresses

In the EU consumers usually have the right of withdrawal of 14 days in the case of distance selling contracts (online purchases are part of them). The consumer chooses the goods according to the product description and a photograph. However, the consumer should have the possibility to examine the purchased product even after its receipt and consider if it meets the consumer's expectations. Nevertheless, the European legislator makes also exceptions. For example, there is no right of withdrawal for goods that are not suitable for returning because of reasons of hygiene and when the sealing of the packaging has been removed.
Recently the Court of Justice has decided that a mattress, such as that at issue, from which the protective film has been removed by the consumer after delivery is not within the scope of the exception to the right of withdrawal in question. The right of withdrawal can still be applied. Such a mattress does not appear, by that fact alone, to be definitively unsuitable for being used again by a third or for being sold again: there is a market for second-hand mattresses and used mattresses can be deep-cleaned. However, the Court points out that, according to the directive, the consumer is liable for any diminished value of goods resulting from handling other than that necessary in order to establish the nature, characteristics and functioning of the goods, without the consumer thereby being deprived of one's right of withdrawal (https://bit.ly/2Uq5hVM).



CAR RENTAL

EU-measures for clearer and more transparent pricing

After the calling of the European Commission and Consumer's Rights authorities, five leading car rental companies have made the presentation of their prices for car rentals more transparent. Now the price depicted for consumers on the website corresponds to the final price and includes all extra costs such as fees for young drivers or one-way rent, when the car is not returned at the collection point. In future the most important services (for example, included kilometres, regulation for refuelling, conditions for cancellations and amount of a possible deposit) will be described accurately in the terms of use in all languages used in the country. Additionally, consumers must be explicitly informed about costs and details of optional additionals and especially about additional insurance that reduces a personal contribution in case of damage. More information about the car rental issue is provided in a free brochure by the ECC.



E-COMMERCE

Warning against Aliaz Cooperation

The network of the European Consumer Centres (ECC-Net) advises caution about offers of the Latvian company "Aliaz Cooperation" that sells, among other things, diet pills and other dubious products and food supplements online. Consumers report that they actually wanted to purchase a free sample or a single test package and were unintentionally ripped off as they received more deliveries - linked with expensive invoices and payment reminders. The ECC advises against paying for unwanted deliveries and one should protest in writing against the invoices. Support is provided at the European Consumer's Centre under info@euroconsumatori.org.


CASE OF THE MONTH
An Italian consumer flew with a British airline from Venice to London. In doing so her suitcase was seriously damaged after the check in. According to the Montreal Convention, which regulates questions of liability related to the carriage of travel luggage, passengers must send a written complaint within seven days starting from the time the passenger had received the damaged luggage. The consumer contacted the airline on the seventh day and even attached an appropriate confirmation of a suitcase seller that confirms that the suitcase cannot be repaired and the commercial value of the suitcase is 200 euros. However, the airline refused the complaint on the ground that the appeal had not been sent in due time. Subsequently, the consumer contacted ECC Italy that dealt with the case of complaint in cooperation with ECC UK. The British colleagues forwarded the complaint to an an extrajudicial settlement body (ADR – Alternative Dispute Resolution) and in the course of this procedure free of charge the airline refunded to the consumer 200 euros. You find more information about your rights concerning delayed, lost or damaged air luggage and free sample letters on the internet site of the ECC.