Consumer's Telegram March 2007Insert of n. 21 - Editorial office: Centro Europeo Consumatori (European Consumer Centre, Bolzano - Italy)
Travelling: More Clarity of Rates for Air TravellersThe new decree of liberalization by the Italian government has brought some important news for people travelling by air, too. The so-called “low-cost airlines” are not allowed to advertise for flights costing one euro only if this rate does not include all kinds of additional flying charges. Thus, the advertised rates must also include airport taxes, administrative charges, additional costs for the fuel, insurance fees and so on. Moreover, the airline must also define if the rate refers to a one-way flight or if the return flight is meant, too or if the rate is only valid for a certain period of time or a special amount of seats.
This regulation is an important step for more clarity in a branch where misleading adverts are extraordinary common: very often the passengers’ attention was attracted by a very low price, which in reality was much higher because it did not include any taxes or charges, they were mentioned in small letters only at the bottom of the offer.
Sportello SOS Turista: Activity Report 2006SOS Turista is a counter that tries to improve the quality of holiday stays by collaborating with the tour operators and informing tourists in a better way. For ten years it has given tips and advices concerning travelling and tourism to the consumers.
The activity report 2006 by SOS Turista shows that about 6,000 consumers had problems during their holiday stay and asked for help at the counter in Modena (North Italy). Most of the problems of 2006 concerned package tours and claims for compensation for lost delight of holiday (41,47%) followed by complaints concerning flights (19,85%) and hotels (12,80%).
A new kind of complaints referred to the so-called open-air tourism (f. ex. camping stays) or youth hostels, refuges or rents of ships.
More information about SOS Turista can be found on the web-site: www.sosvacanze.it.
Attention: The Passengers have to Control the Correctness of their TicketsThere are numerous complaints of passengers of Trenitalia (Italian Railway) that complain about mistakes on their tickets, which make them useless.
Although many passengers come to the Trenitalia counter with a printed copy of the corresponding railway homepage containing the exact data about day of travel, station of departure and arrival, time and type of train it often happens that they are given a ticket with incorrect data. As a consequence of this, the consumer has to buy a new ticket, because the office responsible of complaints of Trenitalia says: It is not possible to reimburse the price of the wrong ticket if it is not used, because the passengers have to check the correctness of the data on the ticket themselves and must report mistakes immediately.
Therefore, we advise all consumers to check their railway tickets closely at the moment of purchase.
Proclamation of Sentence by the County Court of Munich
In the last weeks and months lots of consumers complained about the company VitaActive LTD from Germany. They had done a supposedly free test for calculating their life expectancy. However, a few days later they all got an invoice about 30 euros. Now, the county court of Munich has proclaimed a sentence in favour of the consumers.
The judge argued that the internet page was misleading for the consumer, because it did not say at first that they had to pay for the calculation of the life expectancy. A registration was possible without reading the information about the charges, because they were printed below the registration button.
The charge was only mentioned in the general trading conditions which is not sufficient, said the judge. The regulation of charges in the general conditions is so surprising and unusual, considering the whole structure and appearance of the Website that it is not valid. (Press Release of County Court Munich)