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European Consumer Centre (ECC) Italy Bolzano office

Consumer's Telegram September 2021

Insert of n. 70 - Editorial office: Centro Europeo Consumatori (European Consumer Centre Italy - Bolzano office)


The ECC-Net Tells you What Best to do

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and its correlated inevitable restrictions, thousands of flights had been cancelled across Europe. Most of the cases of last year have been resolved, however the European Consumer Centre keeps receiving inquiries and complaints about flights cancelled in 2020 and still not refunded in summer 2021. What can you do? If a flight is cancelled by a carrier, passengers have the right to choose between a refund and an alternative flight. During the first year of the pandemic, however, instead of a cash refund, vouchers were issued for cancelled flights, as foreseen by emergency regulations in some EU countries. Vouchers issued in accordance with Italian emergency regulations must be valid for 24 months and, if they are not or only partially used by the consumer, the latter may request reimbursement after 12 months from the date of issue. If the ticket has been purchased through an intermediary, the refund must still be made by the carrier; it can do so through the intermediary, but in that case it would be most useful to issue written confirmation of payment, so that the consumer can turn to the intermediary with proof. Read more here.


We Only Offer Advice Free of Charge

Our German colleagues have recently informed us that fraudsters in Germany have used the identity of our network, ECC-Net, and in particular the European Consumer Centre Germany, to collect money from consumers. We would like to remind you that all services of the European Consumer Centre are absolutely free of charge! To read the complete news.


Why Activating Buyer Protection can be Useful

When you buy a product online, you cannot be careful enough. Some platforms offer a possibility to protect oneself efficietnly: the buyer protection, an additional security offered to consumers. As it is stipulated through a contract, it is necessary to comply with the applicable conditions and requirements to be able to use it, which might be: payment by credit card or specific payment system (bank transfers are often excluded), compliance with the deadline for submitting the application, previous attempt to reach an agreement with the buyer, relevance of the claim to the cases covered by buyer protection, limitation to certain categories of goods. It is therefore necessary to check each time what kind of protection you can count on, as well as it is important to know all the options available to you. For further information.

A consumer received a friend request from a well-known Italian actor on Facebook and obviously she did not hesitate to accept it. Within a short time, she received the Whatsapp contact details of the actor himself and of his staff, which led her to become more and more familiar with these people. Later, she was offered to participate in a charity raffle by the actor's foundation: the prizes up for grabs were a car and a phone. To take part in the lottery, however, she had to pay sums of money through Western Union (which the payment company itself advised against). When she realised that the lottery was a fraud, she was advised to report it to the police and contact Western Union. However, the difficulty lay in the fact that the company cooperates to find a solution only in cases of money transfers made online or in Western Union shops, and other shops, like post offices or banks that offer the money transfer service via Western Union, as in the case of the unfortunate consumer, are not considered as such. In the absence of a happy ending, only one moral remains: sometimes not trusting is better, as if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.