Consumer's Telegram June 2018Insert of n. 45 - Editorial office: Centro Europeo Consumatori (European Consumer Centre Italy - Bolzano office)
Going on Holiday - Are your Insured?Summer is near and many consumers are longingly counting the days until they can go on their long-term planned holiday. It is tough, however, when one cannot go on holiday because one is ill and must stay in bed at the last minute instead of lounging on a deck chair. It is double tough when one has to pay a large part or even the entire travel price, nevertheless. If someone withdraws from a holiday because of illness, especially on short term basis, one cannot automatically ask for a refund of the travel price. A travel cancellation insurance could at least avert a material damage. Useful tips and all further necessary information about the issue travel insurance and car rental insurance are available in the brochure of the European Consumer's Centre (ECC) "Going on holiday - Are your Insured? ".
Travelling by train
What rights in case of cancellations and delaysTrain passengers have also rights when their train is cancelled or when they arrive with a significant delay. The passenger has to take into consideration that the delay at the arrival of the destination will be more than 60 minutes. In this case the passenger can forego the trip and can ask for a refund of the ticket. If a passenger takes the train despite delay, one will have the right to claim a minimum compensation of 25% of the ticket price at a delay from 60 to 119 minutes; and of 50% of the ticket price starting from a delay of 120 minutes.
At present especially customers of the French railway company SNCF have difficult times: The German-French Centre of Consumer's Rights told us that until June 28th many trains will not run because of strikes. What are the strike days, how to know if a train is running and how to ask for a refund of the ticket price? All these information are provided on the website of the French railway company SNCF.
Travelling with the ECC
"ECC-Net: Travel App"The "ECC-Net: Travel App" is a common project of all 30 members of the European Consumer's Centres networks (ECC-Net) and offers all travellers legal information, practical support and language assistance in one single application. The app can be used in 25 languages, is for free and also accessible offline.
Case of the monthAn Italian consumer concluded online a travel insurance package at an Austrian insurance company for his trip to Cuba. This insurance should cover among other things all accident and hospital services to the fullest extent. Unfortunately, the consumer had to make use of this insurance as he fell ill during his vacation in Cuba. But things turned out differently than planned: The insurance company wanted him to bear 20 % of the incurred costs on his own. The reason given was that this kind of excess would be applied for every policy holder who is not in possession of an Austrian social insurance. This Italian consumer obviously does not have one. The consumer susequently asked the ECC Italy to represent his interests. Among the general conditions of insurance there was such a clause indeed, but booking online it seemed to the consumer that there was explicitly not foreseen an excess at all.
Something happened through the ECC Austria that we scarcely considered possible: The insurance company showed themselves very cooperative and informed about the legal situation after detailed examination: "Excess amount of 20 % will not be born by the consumer" and they informed us that the booking procedure will become more transparent. This means for the ECC: A great success! A happy consumer .... and future policy holders will be better informed.