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European Consumer Centre (ECC) Italy Bolzano office

Consumer's Telegram January 2022

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


New Rules Come Into Force

Starting from 1 January 2022 all purchases of consumer goods will be subject to new rules on legal guarantee, which in Italy have been introduced with the transposition of the EU Directives 2019/770 and 2019/770 771. For the first time, the purchase of digital content and services will be specifically mentioned and protected in the Consumer Code: not only those services for which a fee has been paid, but also those acquired for free by "paying" with personal data. The duration of the legal guarantee (two years) remains unchanged, but the consumer is no longer obliged to report a defect within two months of its discovery. Moreover, the time period for the presumption that the defect existed at the time of delivery is extended to one year from delivery of the goods; previously this period was six months. The new rules can be found in Articles 128 – 135 vicies ter of the Italian Consumer Code.


"Roam Like at Home" Will be Continued

Good news for travellers in the EU: they can continue to use their mobile phone to make calls, send SMS and use the internet at no extra cost and with the same quality as at home until at least 2032. The European Council, the European Commission, and the European Parliament have reached a political agreement to this effect. Read more about roaming in the EU on our website.


Beware of Fraudulent Offers When Buying a Car

Recently, there has been an increase in enquiries about offers for second hand cars on the internet that turn out to be fraudulent. Unfortunately, the ECC's good advice often comes too late and financial damage has already been done. Some fraudulent websites clone the identity of real existing car dealers, the contact details given thus correspond to those that the real company has deposited with the Chamber of Commerce. It is therefore not easy for consumers to unmask these fake offers. However, the ECC explains how this can be done.

In January 2020 an Italian consumer booked international flights on the website of a British Online Travel Agency (OTA) and paid more than 1,500 euro. In spring 2020 part of the flight itinerary was cancelled due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. The OTA informed the consumer that her refund request was being handled and forwarded to the airline. The OTA assured that once they receive the money from the airline, they will immediately transfer it to the consumer. In autumn 2021 the consumer contacted the airline directly, since she was still waiting to receive the refund. The airline replied that the OTA sent the refund application only in July 2021 and according to the airline, the OTA made a mistake when sending the refund application, thus the airline could not handle the request. The consumer sought the assistance of ECC Italy; her complaint was handled in collaboration with our colleagues of the Consumer Centre in the UK who contacted the OTA. After the intervention of our colleagues, the consumer received the full refund of the tickets.