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European Consumer Centre (ECC) Italy Bolzano office

Consumer's Telegram May 2018

Insert of n. 38 - Editorial office: Centro Europeo Consumatori (European Consumer Centre Italy - Bolzano office)


How to recognise a fake-shop

In the last months more and more consumers reported about goods they had ordered on the internet and paid in advance. However, they did not receive a delivery or delivered goods turned out to be a fake or were of poor quality. Getting the purchase price refunded is in such fake shops usually impossible and therefore it is even more important not getting lured into such a trap at all.
Here are five common features of fake shops:
  • Brand-name products are offered at strikingly low prices.
  • On the website there are no contact details of the company at all or the information is incomplete.
  • Payment is only possible by payment in advance.
  • The statutory duty to supply information about the right of withdrawal or abatement, about legal warranty, about delivery and payment conditions are missing at all or in part or they are written in a bad German or Italian (translation programme).
  • Strikingly many negative comments in forums and rating portals.

More information on the website of the European Consumer's Centre (ECC) .

Online trading and binary options

Beware of fraudulent offers!

Recently more and more consumers contacted the ECC because they had used internetsites to invest their savings in binary options. These contacts were often about accounts on alledged trading platforms that suddenly closed and that did not pay back initially invested sums of money. These are fraudulent web sites that use the names of really existing online-trading-platforms only changing slightly their names.
The ECC provides on its website some useful tips that should be considered in order to prevent investing your own savings on fraudulent platforms.


Judgement of the European Court of Justice: "Wildcat strikes" may be bound to compensation payments

Passengers whose flights were delayed or cancelled are entitled to compensation payments according to the EU regulation 261/2004 on air passenger rights. Exceptions provide "extraordinary circumstances", that could neither be foreseen nor prevented by the airline, as for example, adverse weather conditions or strikes. In autumn 2016 the European Court of Justice decided in relation to the wildcat strikes of the German airline TuiFly staff that a "wildcat strike" (staff placing themselves suddenly and collectively on sick leave) does not constitute an "extraordinary circumstance". In this case the airline could have been able to prevent this strike because they would have had to expect the strike by the airline staff when announcing the restructuring of the company. You will find more information about the air passenger rights on our website .

Case of the month
Two Italian consumers booked a flight from Bremen to Bergamo with an Irish airline. Four days before the scheduled flight departure the return flight was cancelled. The carrier did not offer the passengers a rebooking of an alternative flight, even though the airline is obligated to do so according to current EU law. The customers were forced to book their return flight on their own. Subsequently, they asked for a refund of the newly booked flight and a compensation of 250 Euro per passenger. The carrier only refunded the ticket of the cancelled flight. The ECC Ireland intervened successfully and the consumers received 250 euros of compensation payment each and the difference between the new ticket and the already compensated ticket.
This case showes that it is worth fighting for one's rights!