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European Consumer Centre (ECC) Italy Bolzano office

Consumer's Telegram April 2015

Insert of n. 27 - Editorial office: Centro Europeo Consumatori (European Consumer Centre, Bolzano - Italy)

Holiday and Travel

Accident on ski slopes abroad – air rescue unbudgeted

When going on a ski holiday abroad, one has to be concerned urgently about being insured in case of an accident on ski slopes. For example, an air rescue may cost several thousand euros and under certain circumstances the invoice has to be paid by oneself. Basically the following applies: During a temporary stay abroad in the EC one can claim medical public health services but at the same conditions as the the citizens of the country in which one is travelling and not at the conditions of one's home country. Furthermore, one has to consider that the European health insurance card does not cover, for example, costs for return. Therefore, it is important to clarify in advance that risks are covered by extensive insurance policies. More on our homepage.

Consumers' Rights

Are fee-based guarantees worth the money?

Today consumers receive a free guarantee for many goods from the producer. In addition to these guarantees there is the implied warranty that grants the right to the consumer – normally within two years from purchase – the repair or the exchange of defective products and in some cases the consumer can even claim refund. However, a guarantee may sometimes be advantageous additionally to the implied warranty. The ECC-net shows consumers how to recognize additional guarantees. Information in English are available under the following link. On the internet site of the ECC Bozen/Bolzano you can download a brochure about the implied warranty in Italy and in other European countries.

Case of the month
An Italian couple booked a week's holiday in a hotel at a beautiful Bavarian lake. By agreement with the hotel tenant the amount of 1,200 Euro was transferred shortly before the start of the holiday. The couple was surprised when they found out that they were supposed to pay their holiday once again because the hotel had changed the tenant in the meantime: The previous tenant had gone bankrupt and the new tenant hadn't seen a cent of the money transfer. Teethgrinding the consumers paid once more. They managed to find the insolvency administrator who only told them that the transferred money wasn't part of the bankrupt's estate. An exhausing toing and froing between bank and consumers started because the bank refused to pay a refund argumenting that the couple couldn't rely on a suitable legal basis. The consumers contacted enervatedly the European Consumer's Centre (ECC) in Bolzano/Bozen that asked the ECC Germany for help. At the beginning the bank refused again to pay a refund and the German colleagues contacted the insolvency administrator who finally agreed to the refund in a written form. Now the consumers are able to plan a new holiday with this money.