Consumer's Telegram December 2014Insert of n. 83 - Editorial office: Centro Europeo Consumatori (European Consumer Centre, Bolzano - Italy)
Enchanting journey to Turkey or sales show to carpet dealer?
Holiday and Travel
Recently South Tyrolean readers of a magazine have received a really "unique" offer as special thank-you: a packagetour to Turkey at the special prize of 149 Euro. How can a dream holiday be so cheap? A quick research on the internet says that these round trips turn out to be trips to sales shows of carpet dealers, leather dealers or jewellery dealers instead of enchanting journeys to Turkey. Good that Turkish law accepts the right for withdrawal for such door-to-door sales. One speaks of door-to-door sale even when the contract was signed directly in the premises of a carpet company as within the trip the consumer was taken by surprise and driven to conclude a contract by the tour operator. Nevertheless, also the tour operator must acknowledge Turkish law and is obliged to inform its travellers. In recent years consumers have contacted the ECC in Bozen/Bolzano because they had bought jewellery in such sales shows. Later, it usually turned out that the precious pieces of jewellery they had bought were overpriced. You'll find more information about this issue on the website of the European Consumer's Centre Bozen/Bolzano.
Holiday and TravelPlane tickets and transparency
What happens when you do not show up for your booked flight and you want to know if you are entitled to a - at lease partial - refund? A detailed breakdown of the ticket price may help if you do not show up and if you would like to receive a refund of fees and taxes. You will find firsthand information on the website of the Italian Administration of Civil Aviation ENAC (Ente Nazionale per l'Aviazione Civile).
Low-cost-tickets usually are very restrictive considering their conditions for reimbursement, whereas tickets at higher prices allow nearly a full reimbursement or a rebooking. From the point of view of consumer rights it is interesting to evaluate the fact that one often finds these information somewhere between Article 1 and Article 20 of the General Transport Terms and Conditions of the airline company: In few special and grave cases the full price of the ticket will be refunded also if it concerns a low-cost-flights as long as a reimbursement is explicitly requested and the necessary documentation is provided.
Case of the month
A Dutch consumer spotted a handbag on the website of an Italian company. She liked it not only for its look but also for its price: In fact, the handbag was 50 % off and would have been "only" 650 Euro. The consumer made inquiries at the company in order to make sure that the price was right. They did not answer her e-mail, therefore she ordered the bag and was very much surprised when the company told her that her order had been cancelled because the price was in fact wrong: the requested model belonged to the current collection and was therefore not reduced. As the consumer had not been able to solve the problem on her own, she contacted the European Consumer Centre (ECC) Netherlands that asked the ECC Italy for an intervention. At first the company did not react at all, but then everything happened very quickly. The consumer could order and receive the requested handbag at the reduced price.