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European Consumer Centre (ECC) Italy Bolzano office

Consumer's Telegram February 2016

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

10 years network of European Consumer Centres

Report ECC Bolzano/Bozen

All year long 2015 was marked by one priority: the informed consumer. Also during the last year ECC Bolzano/Bozen received and handled most requests concerning travel. Next to problems related to flight and full package tours, entered also complaints about price discrimination due to citizenship and domicile. The most growing issue of last year's ECC activity is definitely electronic trade. In response to 621 requests about concrete border crossing problems, 342 requests had to do with e-commerce. This means that in 342 out of 621 border crossing requests the consumer's contract has been concluded. Similiar phenomenons are noticed in 321 cases, in which legal consultants of the ECC had to intervene in order to sustain consumers with residence in other EC-states having difficulties with Italian companies. Also in these cases, more than half of the affairs deal with purchases completed on the internet. The ECC was able to demand payment for consumers amounting to Euro 200.000 Euro in total. More information you'll find on our homepage.

Holiday and Travel

Compulsory insurance replaces guarantee fund

What happens when travellers of an insolvent tour operator may get left behind during a package tour? In the year 1999 a special guarantee fund was established in Italy that allowed travellers to be ensured in the following cases: The consumer receives the full amount of reimbursement in case of bankruptcy or insolvency of an Italian tour operator before departure or can be brought back to the home country without any additional costs. Since 1 January 2016 this national guarantee fund has been replaced by a compulsory insurance. On our homepage we summarized for you the main changes.

Holiday and Travel

Vaccinations for long-distance journeys

People who want to travel to distant countries or to tropical areas, are recommended to start their holiday plans at an early stage and to inform themselves urgently about the necessary vaccinations. In Italy or Europe many infectious diseases are under control, while in other countries they are still widely spread. In every case it should be controlled that travellers are protected against infectious diseases spread in Italy through current vaccination, especially against diphtheria, tetanus, polio, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella. You find more information on our colleague's homepage of ECC Austria .

Case of the month
Baggage transport on flight travels are sometimes met with obstacles. One has to keep an eye on weight, form and content and has to hope that the baggage arrives in time and without damage in the destination airport. A Spanish consumer, Patricia, can tell a story about it. On an airport in Sardinia she did not get her suitcase and repurchased its full content until the very last accessoire in Sardinia. Some days later the missing suitcase was found again and was given to the consumer. She had presented a demand for reimbursement of the expenses, but had to bite the bullet: Air companies are legally obligated to refund only the expenses for „basic needs“, such as toiletries, basic clothing or medications. Who thinks to get new and expensive clothes at the expense of the airline will be disappointed deeply!