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European Consumer Centre (ECC) Italy Bolzano office

Consumer's Telegram October 2021

Insert of n. 77 - Editorial office: Centro Europeo Consumatori (European Consumer Centre Italy - Bolzano office)


What you Should Know about It

When you buy something online, in most cases you can cancel your purchase free of charge. This is made possible thanks to the EU-wide right of withdrawal: the seller must give the buyer adequate notice and the buyer can exercise this right within 14 days of delivery of the product. If you want to exercise this right, you must inform the seller of the withdrawal in written form. It is best to use the sample form that the trader must provide on the website; alternatively, you can download our free sample letter. It is not necessary to give reasons for the withdrawal. The goods must be returned within 14 days of the declaration of withdrawal. Finally, the trader must refund the purchase price within 14 days of receiving the notice of withdrawal if the consumer has already returned the goods at that time.


Tips and Information Concerning your Baggage

Unfortunately, it can happen that checked baggage does not arrive, arrives too late or is damaged. In such cases, the first step is to make a claim immediately at the Lost & Found counter at the airport. But that alone is not enough: do not forget to send a written complaint directly to the airline within the time limits provided. However, there are already a few things to keep in mind when booking: check on the website of the airline how much and what kind of luggage you can take on board and what items you are or are not allowed to take, if possible use a suitcase that is easily recognisable and durable, make a list of the contents of the suitcase and take photos so that you can prove the condition of what you are taking on your trip. For more information on this topic, click here.


Borderless Online Shopping

We are used to shopping online and take it for granted that we can use a service, for example, from Denmark right from our sofa at home. But this has not always been the case, quite the contrary... A legal framework at European level was necessary for this – the Services Directive and the Geoblocking Regulation, which was adopted by the institutions of the European Union after a long process – to enable us to do so. Thus, for some years now, it has no longer been possible for any e-commerce provider to exclude consumers from offers on the basis of their place of residence or nationality, to automatically redirect them to other country-specific sites or to insert unjustifiably aggravating terms and conditions. More on this topic here.

Online shopping is undoubtedly easy, convenient and fast, but it can also lead to some nasty surprises. A consumer bought a mobile phone from a well-known online retailer. The goods were actually delivered, but she decided to exercise her right of withdrawal. The seller gave return instructions, which the consumer followed and so she returned the product to the sender. As the consumer did not receive a refund, she enquired about it and discovered that the return package had arrived at the seller's empty. Despite the lively email correspondence with the seller, her complaint was unsuccessful. She therefore contacted the European Consumer Centre (ECC) Italy, which forwarded the case to the ECC Luxembourg, where the seller is based. The consumer was reimbursed the amount at last, whichwas mainly possible because of the copies of the documentation provided by the consumer: she had the presence of mind to insist that the return package be weighed before being sent back to the seller and photographed the contents of the package both when she received it and before sending it back.