Consumer's Telegram December 2019Insert of n. 93 - Editorial office: Centro Europeo Consumatori (European Consumer Centre Italy - Bolzano office)
Caution with pre-Christmas bargain hunting!The European Consumer Centre (ECC) Italy and experts of an ODR called "conciliareonline.it" have provided a set of safety tips for online puchase:
Take a close look at the internet site before your purchase. Are the legal details about the company on the web site? Is there a VAT number? Does the web site have adequate General Terms and Conditions? If the answer is NO, you should rather refrain from the purchase. Compare the prices of different online shops. If the price is too low to be true, you will probably receive no goods at all or counterfeit goods. Choose a perferably safe payment method such as credit card or paypal. Examine the items carefully after their receipt. Check that they are complete, correct and if they work. Record and report damages to the package or the content straight away in writing to the seller. If the ordered goods do not meet your expectations, make use of your right of withdrawal. You can exercise this right within 14 days after delivery. More information about this issue is provided on the website of the European Consumer Centre: https://bit.ly/3392cKi.
Regional Administrative Court Latium cancels sanctions to Ryan Air and Wizz AirIn February 2018 the Italian competition authority (AGCM) imposed a penalty against the budget airlines Ryanair and Wizz Air due to their regulations regarding the prices for the transport of large and heavy hand luggage (the classic trolleys). For the authority the charged price was almost always higher than the price given at the beginning of the booking process, which makes it difficult for the consumer to compare prices of other ailines in which hand luggage is included in the base price. The Administrative court Latium recently cancelled the penalties and concluded that the offers are expressed in a sufficiently clear manner. It is well enough explained how one can easily calculate the price regarding the check-in of a second "large" luggage at the moment of booking, after booking or at the moment of boarding.
AGCM imposes penalty on GoldcarThe AGCM has imposed an administation penalty of 3.400.000 Euro on the car rental agency Goldcar because of unfair business practices. The company has allegedly proposed in an aggressive manner that customers should take out an expensive additional insurance and in case of non-purchase of such an insurance amounts for allegedly small damages will be charged, amounts that have been set "arbitrarily on the basis of general criteria for calculation of damages".
CASE OF THE MONTH
An Italian consumer booked a flight to the Canary Islands for his winter holidays a long time in advance and - separately - a non-refundable hotel accommodation. Some weeks later the airline informed him that his flights had been cancelled and that he could choose between a new flight with the airline from or to another airport, a refund or an alternative way of travel with another airline. The consumer chose the third option, found other flights with other airlines and asked for a rebooking on these flight. The airline refused and simply refunded the price for the cancelled flights instead. The consumer eventually booked and paid the expensive alternative flight on his own expenses. Subsequently, he contacted the European Consumer Centre (ECC) Italy that sent this case to the ECC in Ireland. ECC Ireland contacted the airline and reminded them that the Regulation on air passenger rights in case of cancellation provides a choice between refund and an alternative flight. In the end the airline could be convinced to refund the consumer the price difference.