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

Consumer's Telegram January 2020

Insert of n. 6 - Editorial office: Centro Europeo Consumatori (European Consumer Centre Italy - Bolzano office)


Which Rights do you have when buying Christmas Presents Online?

One of your loved ones did not really like the Christmas present you had bought online? Check if you can cancel the purchase. A withdrawal is usually only possible within 14 days from the day of the delivery. If the seller does not inform correctly about the right of withdrawal, that date will be extended for 12 months and consequently ends only after 12 months and 14 days. Good to know: Online shops and platforms sometimes grant longer periods of withdrawal than provided by law.
When you noticed after opening the present that not all parts are here, the object is defect or it is different from the one that had been ordered, you should immediately complain in writing to the seller and submit a guarantee claim.
More information about this topic can be found on the website of the European Consumer Centre (ECC).


Competition Authority imposes Fine to the Website Operator

At the beginning of the year 2019 an Italian student contacted the ECC because eight years before he had written a poem and signed up for the website as this page provided services for registration of intellectual property. He paid 31 Euro for this service. After eight years the consumer suddenly received a payment request for subscription that was automatically extended every year. The Italian Competion Authority (AGCM) initiated a procedure (PS11376) based, among other reasons, to the consumer's report and found that the company had provided misleading information about their identitiy, about the type, the characteristics and the economic conditions of the advertised offer. The company had also impeded the termination of the service by their members. You find more information about this issue on the website of the ECC.


Thomas Cook Germany - Ray of Light for Travellers Affected by the Bankruptcy

In September 2019 the German Tour Operator with the brands Thomas Cook, Neckermann Reisen, Öger Tours, Air Marin and Bucher Reisen went into insolvency in September 2019. Their clients, many of whom had already made high advance payments, could not start their journey and others had to be brought back from their holiday resort.
EU law basically provides that consumers, who have booked a package tour, are insured against insolvency of the tour operator. German legislation, however, provides the possibility of limiting the liability to 110 million Euros when implementing the package tour regulation into German law. In case of insolvency of a big corporation this amount has turned out to be insufficient.
The German government has now decided to provide financial compensation for the affected customers of package tours as these customers can expect only partial payments from the insurance company.

A Czech consumer booked a cruise with an Italian shipping company: from Barcelona to Guadeloupe, three weeks at sea. While disembarking in Guadeloupe the customer had to experience a nasty surprise. The suitcase, which had been placed in front of the cabin door according to the shipping company's instruction, could not be found any more. Subsequently, the consumer contacted the company repeatedly in order to claim a compensation payment. However, the shipping company offered her only 186 Euro. The Czech consumer eventually contacted the ECC Czech Republic that transferred this case of complaint to the ECC Italy. After several attempts the ECC Italy succeeded in receiving a compensation for the consumer in the amount of 800 Euro that the comsumer accepted gratefully.