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

Consumer's Telegram October 2018

Insert of n. 77 - Editorial office: Centro Europeo Consumatori (European Consumer Centre Italy - Bolzano office)


"Tuned" contracts: The matter with contracts at exhibitions

During the last months the European Consumer Centre (ECC) was repeatedly dealing with requests by consumers who were chatted up at a fair stand of a provider of tuning services and wheedled into the conclusion of a non-binding trial membership contract. Only when the consumers were congratulated for their membership and were asked for a payment more than two weeks later, they asked themselves what they had really signed. The European Consumer Centre (ECC) Italy provides useful advice not to fall into the usual trap. The European Consumer Centre in Germany will help those consumers, who have already fallen into the trap by accusing the provider of tuning services and by urging them to close their requests for payment.


If airline cancels flights, it will have to refund the commission fee under certain circumstances

Recently the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has issued a judgement concerning a German passenger who had bought his flight tickets on the internet - not directly on the website of the airline but on the site of a booking portal. The flight was cancelled and the airline refunded the price, but not the entire amount paid by the passenger to the portal: the consumer did not get back the the commission fee of 77 Euro retained by the booking portal. He went to court and the case was presented to the ECJ. Now the ECJ has decided that the commission fee must basically be seen as a part of the price that has to be refunded to the passengers in case of a flight cancellation unless the airline did not know anything about this fee. Now it falls to be determined by the judge of the local court if the airline had known about this fee in this particular case. While this judgement of the Court is certainly positive for consumers, we fear that the practical application especially on the out-of-court level will not prove so easy. The best and most secure way is to book directly via the website of the airlnie and pay there directly.


Ryanair changes regulation on carry-on luggage

From 1st November 2018 customers of the Irish airline who did not book Priority Boarding are allowed to take with them only one carry-on bag (40x20x25cm) for free when boarding. The 10 kilo trolleys, that have been handled as free carry-on luggage so far, have to be checked in at the baggage counter against payment. The new conditions apply to those who have booked since 1st September 2018. Everyone who booked before that date is not affected by the new policy.

A French consumer spotted and ordered a very special toy seen on an Italian website: an original dollhouse from the seventies, a collector's item of a value more than 300 Euro. The package was sent but did not arrive and was sent back. The company asked for an additional payment for the second attempt. The consumer paid, but also the second delivery did not reach its final destination - this time because of a strike of the postal service. Subsequently, the consumer tried to contact the company again and again but did not receive an answer. Seven months had passed since the payment, when the consumer became aware of the existence of the Network of the European Consumer Centres (ECC-Net). She contacted ECC France that transferred the case to ECC Italy. After all these months the ECC Italy succeeded to contact the Italian company again and despite some more difficulties regarding delivery, the consumer eventually received her long-awaited collector's item.