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

Consumer's Telegram July/August 2021

Insert of n. 54/59 - Editorial office: Centro Europeo Consumatori (European Consumer Centre Italy - Bolzano office)


What to Do if the Package Is Not Delivered or Is Damaged?

It can happen, even if it should not, that when an online purchase is made, you remain disappointed, as the ordered product arrives damaged, or worse does not arrive at its destination, sometimes due to a scam. To overcome these possible problems, it is advisable to pay with secure systems (such as credit card or Paypal), which allow you to carry out the chargeback procedure; make sure, if the package is not found at home, that it has not been left near the home or by a neighbor; accept only under reserve fragile goods or expensive products; document the opening of the package with photos or videos to have proof that the product is already damaged upon arrival. To find out more, read our press release.


When It's Not your Bank but a Scammer

It often happened in the last few months that consumers have received text messages apparently from their bank and being asked to enter a secret code, a so-called One Time Password (OTP), generated automatically. This is used to authorise payments, by entering it on the bank portal in the appropriate section, but in these cases it was requested over the phone, during the call or by message. On the other end of the line, however, instead of the bank there was a scammer who thus stole thousands of euros from the victim. The moral of the story? Never send an OTP to anyone, not even to your bank, because these type of disposable passwords are generated only to be entered directly and will never be requested by the operator of any credit institution. More information in our press release.


The Changes Provided by the EU Directive Have Been Taking Effect Since July 1st

With the EU directive 2017/2455, the European Union is modernizing the application of the Value Added Tax (VAT) for transnational e-commerce operations. From July in the case of online purchases, VAT will be paid in the place where the consumption of goods and services occurs; fair competition is re-established between European and foreign e-commerce operators, as well as between e-commerce and traditional shops; companies will have a simple and uniform system for declaring and paying VAT on cross-border transactions with buyers from the European Union, thanks to two new online systems, the One Stop Shop (OSS) and the Import One Stop Shop for import (IOSS). Consumers will have to pay attention if they buy products from markets outside the European Union, because prices could be indicated without VAT and this would therefore be required by the consumer at delivery. To find out more details about it, read our press release.

Genetic analysis is increasingly in vogue and the reasons for carrying it out are different: discovering one's origins, finding family members, diagnosing diseases... A Romanian consumer requested a DNA test to make important family decisions. He reported this circumstance to the analysis laboratory, located in Italy, paying a supplement to obtain the results within two weeks of sending the kit with the genetic material. Although he was reassured about the timing, it was not respected. As an essential deadline was not observed, the consumer asked for a refund. Failing, however, to solve the problem on his own, he turned to the European Consumer Centre (ECC) Romania, which routinely forwarded the file to the European Consumer Centre (ECC) Italy. The ECC Italy contacted the laboratory again, recalling that the essential term assumed such significance as to deprive the agreed service of its usefulness and the interest of the creditor. Thanks to the joint work of the two Italian and Romanian European Consumer Centres, the consumer was therefore reimbursed for the sum of 1199 euros.