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

Consumer's Telegram June 2020

Insert of n. 45 - Editorial office: Centro Europeo Consumatori (European Consumer Centre Italy - Bolzano office)


EU-commission calls for freedom of choice for European travellers

Several EU Member States have significantly changed European standards for the protection of travellers by introducing national rules that often provide the issue of a voucher instead of a refund in the event of travel cancellation. The EU Commission stresses that travellers must have a choice between reimbursement and voucher. In order to make vouchers more attractive for consumers, they should, among other things, be protected against possible insolvency of the service providers. There should be an automatic refund of the amount after the due date and these vouchers should be used flexibly by making them transferable to other travellers and also released for a different destination than originally booked, or by issuing vouchers for a higher amount than originally paid - as an incentive for travellers.
The European Consumer Centre (ECC) also hopes that the rules on making vouchers an obligatory replacement for cash refunds, as recently adopted in Italy, will soon be mitigated by follow-up measures that take into account the Commission's recommendation and the current legal situation in the EU.


Also for sales: He who trusts is happy, the doubter is wise!

Some people use the time at home to muck out and perhaps part with one or other thing that is no longer needed but is not superfluous, and come up with the idea of offering it via a sales platform.
But beware of scammers who are roaming the various platforms! Mistrust is appropriate when a buyer tries to inspire confidence through very personal information and stories. The alarm bells should sound when the buyer brings an apparently neutral third party, such as a bank and a transport company, into play. If someone claims to have a problem with payment and then demands payment from the seller, the seller is just put in. Never send copies of your passport to a would-be buyer, as they can use it to seal your identity and fool the next careless seller. Check the ECC website to see what happened to a seller who did not follow these rules.


European Court of Justice: No hidden costs with flight prices

An important court judgment: Air carriers must indicate, from the first time their price offers are published on the internet, the VAT on domestic flights and the fees charged for paying by credit card. They must also indicate the check-in fees payable where no method of checking-in free of charge is offered as an alternative.

Ms. S. receives an SMS with the information that her access data for the credit card app is no longer correct. Shortly afterwards she receives a call from a gentleman who introduces himself as an employee of the credit card company. It was agreed that Ms. S. should give this gentleman the code which she would now receive by SMS. Ms. S. did not see in the short view of the message that by entering the code she had authorized a debit of $300. Just like Ms. S. other credit card users fall for the tricks of the fraudsters.
Our tips: Make a refund request immediately (so-called chargeback) with your credit card company and, if necessary, block your card and file a complaint. For the future: Be careful and check the entire SMS content including the amount for all purchases that include an SMS security code. Be especially skeptical if a caller is impersonating an employee of a credit card company and wants to request data.