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European Consumer Centre (ECC) Italy Bolzano office

Consumer's Telegram March 2017

Insert of n. 22 - Editorial office: Centro Europeo Consumatori (European Consumer Centre, Bolzano - Italy)


In search for love in the internet era
Digitalisation of society has also changed places and ways of meeting: Getting to know somebody is no more a matter of seductive glances and softly whispered words, but it is rather a matter of pseudonyms and typed sentences posted during chats in online dating pages. In the past users made complaints regarding dating agency contracts about partner suggestions that had not been provided within the period agreed. Moreover, complaints were made about suggestions that did not fit the profile of the ideal partner the consumer had filled in. These cases could be reduced drastically not least because the advisors of the ECC provided information activities during the last years. At the same time in the course of years consumers have made use of "different" possibilities of dating: Searchers increasingly apply to anonymous and lower priced online-dating-pages. However, these ones have their pitfalls as well. You find more information about this issue on our website.


Do I have to pay the fine?
Consumers, contacting the ECC because of foreign fines, had received different penalties: traffic fines from Austria, Germany or France, speed trespasses, but also alledgedly unpaid Hungarian motorway tolls. First things first: one has to take notice that every justified (traffic) fine must be paid - regardless of whether imposed at home or abroad! What consumers want to hear though, is if Italy executes the sentence. As ECC Italy has already reported, Italy applied the framework decision of the Council of the European Union in March 2016 (2005/214/JI) regarding the principle of mutual recognition of financial penalties. What does this specifically mean for consumers? Read more on our website.


Warning for mail ripoff!
At present consumers are increasingly contacting the ECC because they received a threatening e-mail from an online route planner. The sender is named "Content Solution Ltd" and consumers report that the company's name changes time and again. Consumers, who registered on the website are affected. Read more on our Austrian colleagues' homepage.

Case of the month
Since summer will not be long in coming, people begin to struggle for their bikini figure. A consumer went on a slimming diet of a German company that tried to court their clients with the slogan "We'll make you sexy!". They issued an annual subscription with monthly partial amounts that renewed itself automatically at the end of the year. The consumer followed the steady diet with dietary advice including physical activities, but she was not successful. She was disappointed and sent a letter of dismissal in order to avoid the automatic renewal of the subscription. The company, however, continued to debit the monthly fees from the credit card and renewed subscription for a further year! The consumer was not able to settle the case with the company and subsequently asked the ECC Italy – Bolzano office for support. The latter transferred the case to ECC Germany that continued working on it. The result of the negotiations was that they agreed on a compromise: The cancellation of the subscription was finally accepted. However, the consumer continuously received dietary advice despite her cancellation and therefore the company refused to refund her paid contributions.