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European Consumer Centre (ECC) Italy Bolzano office

Consumer's Telegram January 2016

Insert of n. 6 - Editorial office: Centro Europeo Consumatori (European Consumer Centre, Bolzano - Italy)


Disabled air passengers or persons with reduced mobility: Do you know your rights?
The International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) is celebrated annually on 3 December The network of European Consumers Centres (ECC-Net) take this day as an occasion to call attention to the rights of air passengers with disabilities and reduced mobility. Disabled air passengers are allowed to take medical appliances with them free of charge, according to the EU regulation 1107/2006. Furthermore, the airline must grant the transport of helping dogs and mobility equipments, for example, wheel chairs, normally also free of charge. You will find more information on our website.


Lost or damaged luggage: What are my rights?
Many air passengers know the problem: One waits a long time, but the suitcase on the conveyor does not appear. EU-regulation 889/02 (and Montreal convention) basically provides the rights that can be made use by air passengers in such or similiar situations. One has to fill in the PIR-form (Property Irregularity Report) in case of loss, damage or delay of luggage in order to make sure that the damage will be repaired as rapidly as possible. Attention: The PIR does not replace the letter of complaint to the airline that has to be sent within particular deadlines. The ECC Italy - office Bolzano/Bozen wants to provide clarity about the rights air passengers have in such cases.


Online-Shopping: Unacceptable barriers
Consumers are frequently disadvantaged when shopping cross-border. At the latest since 1st January 2010 in all European countries EU Service Directive (2006/123/EG) have been applicable. The including article 20.2 should make sure that consumers shopping in other EU-member states will not be discriminated. Now a report shows that despite this discrimination ban business practices, for example like Geoblocking, continue to be in use in order to hinder consumers from shopping online and make it harder to gain access to services within the internal market.
In consequence, consumers are continuously confronted with the fact that delivery is rejected because of their residence or their nationality or they have to pay higher prices. The results of the report display that some dealers create artificial barriers and their reasons for that are often unjustified. The ECC-net claims more legal clarity about the issue under which circumstances dealers are allowed to reject certain services. Rules have also to be improved concerning law enforcement in case of violations. The project was carried out by the centres of Austria, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Great Britain under the leadership of ECC Ireland. Here you will find a link to the report.

Case of the month
A consumer, a passionate painter, concluded a contract with Skype in order to communicate cost-efficiently with her fellow painters and gallery owners. The consumer chose the payment method via bank transfer. So it happened that, even though the payment of the invoice amount had been correct and within maturity, Skype interrupted from one day to the other the service. Subsequently, the consumer got immediately in touch with the provider to solve the problem - but without success. Only after intervention of the European Consumers Centre Bolzano/Bozen that sent the corresponding documents to their colleagues of the ECC Luxembourg, the case could be closed successfully. Skype had checked the client position and really discovered a mistake. The service was re-activated and the consumer received a refund of the paid but unused monthly rates.