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European Consumer Centre (ECC) Italy Bolzano office

Consumer's Telegram September 2018

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


Who is liable for loss or damage of delivered goods?

Firstly, one has to differentiate between the purchase from a company and the purchase from a private person, before answering this question. The consumer is much better protected when purchasing from a company rather than from a private person: The risk for loss or damage of a piece of goods will only be transferred when the consumer or a third person appointed by him or her takes delivery of the goods. Until that time the seller keeps the risk and must replace for the purchaser the loss or damage of goods. More information about this issue on the website of the European Consumer's Centre (ECC).


A summer full of strikes is ending

Holidaymakers, who wanted to reach their destination by plane, had a particularly difficult time in 2018: Hundreds of flights fell victim to numerous strikes of the cabin staff. The EU regulation on air passenger rights no. 261/2004 provides that the airline must offer the passenger the choice between a full reimbursement of the ticket price and a rebooking of an alternative flight free of charge. Moreover, passengers choosing the rebooking of an alternative flight are entitled to support services such as meals, refreshments, accommodation in relation to the duration of the delay. Eventually, the regulation provides a compensation payment of 250, 400 or 600 Euro in case of flight cancellation not notified in due time except the reason of the cancellation can be regarded as an exceptional circumstance. Passengers affected by the strike of cabin staff should at least have a try to claim the compensation payment. Recently the European court of justice has judged that a "wild strike" of the airline staff cannot be regarded as an exceptional circumstance that allows the airline to release the airline from its obligation to pay compensation. Here you will find the sample letter of the ECC.


Beware of fraudulent e-mails

In recent weeks consumers reported several "phishing" attacts: The people affected received an e-mail from an alleged bank that informed that the National Institute of Social Insurance (INPS) had tried to pay back a high amount of money. The transfer however had failed because the personal data or the bank coordinates would have been incorrect. The receiver of the e-mail were invited to transmit their data through a link in the e-mail. Obviously, an institution or bank would never ask this kind of information via such a channel. Therefore it is advisable to be altert and never transmit sensitive data via linked websites or e-mail: This avoids that one own's bank account will not be emptied by unknown and one should not click on links that can possibly trigger the installation of viruses, Trojans or spyware, programmes that spy on private files in one's computer.


An Italian consumer sent his defective smartphone to a German company to have it repaired. The shipping to Germany worked without any problems, but problems occurred during the return shipment of the repaired smartphone: The consumer never received his device. Subsequently, the consumer contacted the German company that made an investigation order at the courier service. As the consumer did not receive any information about his lost smartphone and the value of the phone was not reimbursed, he contacted the European Consumer's Centre in Bolzano/Bozen. This institution asked their colleagues of the ECC Germany for intervention. In fact: The German colleagues insisted tenaciuosly for some months and the company eventually transferred the comsumer a compensation in the amount of 200 Euro.