Co-funded by
the European Union
European Consumer Centre (ECC) Italy Bolzano office

Consumer's Telegram September 2017

Insert of n. 70 - Editorial office: Centro Europeo Consumatori (European Consumer Centre, Bolzano - Italy)


Airline is broke: What do concerned passengers have to know?
For Alitalia an "extraordinary admininistration" was introduced in May 2017 and now the next crash is following: The second largest German airline Air Berlin made a request for a preliminary insolvency procedure on 15th August 2017. What does this mean for travelling consumers? First of all the most important matter: Air Berlin flights should operate normally during the coming three months. Further flight operations are guaranteed by the German Government that grants a bridging loan of 150 million euros. Air Berlin itself assures on its own website that all flights continue to operate, the flight plan and already booked tickets remain valid and flights can still be booked. You find more information on travels by air with Air Berlin on our website.


Attacks, earthquakes and natural catastrophes
When one of the above mentioned situations occur, the consumer can withdraw from a trip. However, he or she has to pay the cancelling fee as provided in the contract of the service company (travel agency, airline, hotel etc.): The consumer is obligated with the purchase of a tourism service to pay the service but does not have to make use of it. Whereas the service company is bound to provide the agreed service (a package tour, the hotel room, the rented car). If the service agency is able to provide the service (e.g. the hotel can be used after a terror attack), the consumer can be asked for a return service (so the payment of the service). Attacks, natural catastrophes and fear before traveling are situations that are not covered by a travel cancellation insurance. Only when the ministry of foreign affairs issues an official travel warning for the destination a withdrawal free of charge is possible. You find more details on our website.


Ticket from abroad - what you need to know!
A pay assessment for a traffic fine abroad is probably a souvenir everybody can do without. We tend not to bother about it, as we are not familiar with local procedures and it only occurred abroad. However, one should not ignore such notices. One or the other asks for possibilities for appealing, but the prevailing question is usually why and whether one has to pay such a fine from abroad. Perhaps the European Consumer's Centre (ECC) Italy - office Bolzano/Bozen can solve some riddles around tickets from abroad.

Recently a consumer contacted ECC Italy - Bolzano office because he had ordered on a website for bicycle accessories a set of wheels that, however, had not been delivered. The consumer told the office that the website was registered in Germany and that he had not received a reply to his e-mails or to his phone calls. He had payed the full amount of 1.925 Euro via bank transfer (and therefore could not ask for a "charge-back" at the credit card company), he worried if he would be able to see his money ever again. The consumer had also sent the seller a warning by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt - without success. Therefore he transferred the case to ECC Bolzano that got in touch with the German colleagues. They wrote to the seller again but did not get an answer. The seller seemed to come more and more under pressure and suddenly, after a few weeks, retransferred the total amount of 1.925 Euro to the consumer without comment.