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

Consumer's Telegram October 2019

Insert of n. 75- Editorial office: Centro Europeo Consumatori (European Consumer Centre Italy - Bolzano office)


Rip-off of house hunters

On the internet Stefan finds a promising offer for a student's accomodation in Paris in a central area at an affordable rent. To view the room is not necessary, one only needs to transfer a month's rent and deposit in advance.
Everyone knows that online portals are indispensable when searching an apartment. One tries to find a new home as a student or for work. However, on the net there are also fraudsters. Therefore, never send your bank data and ID copies to strangers; do not pay until you have not seen the property on your own; check if the given address does really exist and use the reversed way of finding an image using the search engine to recognize if a picture has already been used for another adervertisement under a different address.
Read how the story of Stefan and his room ended on the website of the European Consumer's Centre (ECC).


Aigle Azur cancels all flights

An additional name must be added to the list of bankrupt airlines. Since 2 September 2019 the French airline Aigle Azur has been under protective administration and all flights have been cancelled. Some airlines offer special tariffs for affected passengers. You find the complete list of these airlines on the Aigle Azur-Website (
Tickets are not refunded and compensations are not paid because of the financial situation Aigle Azur is in. The website of the airline offers the possibility to fill in a form in French and to sign up for claims in the insolvency procedures, however, the prospects of success are probably very limited. The ECC advises those who had paid their ticket by credit card to contact the card issuer and to activate the return debit procedure "charge back" for paid amounts.


New judgment of the ECJ on SEPA-direct debit

Our colleagues of the European Consumer's Centre (ECC) Austria reported a complaint of the Austrian association for consumers' information (VKI) against the German train company "Deutsche Bahn". Reason for this action was a clause that said that payment by SEPA-direct debit would only be possible for consumers who are German residents. According to the VKI this violates the SEPA-regulation of the EU. Now the European Court of Justice has confirmed this opinion. If a consumer wants to pay by the SEPA-direct debit procedure, this must not be subject to the condition to have a bank account at a bank in a certain member state (e.g. Germany). Furthermore, the European Court of Justice stated that it was irrelevant that other payment methods were offered to the customer to choose.

An Italian consumer opened a bank account using his smartphone and paid in about 2,000 euros straight away. Soon afterwards he noticed that 1,000 euros were transferred by bank to an unknown company. This soon afterwards happened a second time so that his bank account had a zero balance. The consumer immediately contacted the customer service in order to cancel the unauthorised transfers and forwarded a copy of the complaint to the Italian police. As he was not able to solve the problem with his German bank, he contacted the European Consumer's Centre (ECC) Italy and they transferred the case to their German colleagues. The German ECC succeeded in cancelling one of the unauthorised transactions and to get the amount back. For the cancellation of the second transaction the ECC eventually contacted the German banking ombudsman in charge. The ombudsman decided in favour of the consumer because he had taken action immediately after the unauthorised transfer. In the end the consumer got the full amount of money back with the help of the ECC.