Category Archive : Uncategorized

In the context of inflation, rising energy prices and product shortages, Black Friday will have a particular importance for consumers this year.

But beware, sometimes slogans like "best deal" hide false promises or even fake shops that don't actually exist. The famous "only three items left" is a popular trick to put customers under pressure.

With our five shopping tips, you are on the safe side and well prepared for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

1. Check if the online shop is safe and legitimate

Before you start shopping online, take a good look at the website. Be sure to check the imprint and the general terms and conditions.

  • Are both sections available? Are they complete?
  • Is a plausible postal address given? Don't hesitate to check the address with the help of online mapping services.
  • Call the given number to test whether it is taken and whether someone picks up.
  • Check out review sites to see whether other users have had problems with the shop or, on the contrary, have left positive reviews.

2. Check if this is a real deal

During promotion periods, both the discounted price and the price without discount must be displayed. The price before promotion must be the lowest price charged in the last 30 days for traders inside the EU. This however has still not been implemented in Iceland – but Icelandic traders must proof that they have sold a product on the provided prior price, before it was lowered.

Our tip is to observe product prices over a longer period of time. If you notice that the indicated non-discounted price is not the lowest of the past month, you may be dealing with unfair business practices.

3. Resist the pressure

"20 other people are looking at this item" or "only three items left”: Many websites, mobile applications, social networks and even search engines use so-called dark patterns to put pressure on you.

Some shops also try to influence our buying behaviour with countdowns or shaming buttons like " No, I am silly and don't want to benefit from a 20% discount".

You will need strong nerves but in the end, you will be glad you did not fall for the trick.

4. Make sure to choose a safe payment method

  • If you pay online, make sure you have a secured internet connection
  • Vertu viss um að vefslóðin byrji á „https“ og að „lokaður hengilás“- merkið birtist hjá slóðinni.

  • Don’t save your bank details on your mobile phone, your computer or any shopping platforms
  • Set a maximum amount for one-off payments for your credit card
  • Avoid payments by bank transfer

5. Make use of the legal guarantee

You benefit from a legal guarantee of conformity on all new or second-hand goods (furniture, car, computer, household appliance, etc.) purchased from a seller based in Iceland or in the European Union.

The legal guarantee of conformity lasts for a minimum of 2 years. If your product is faulty, you can ask the seller to repair or exchange the product or, if these two solutions are not possible, to reimburse you.

Don't forget: When buying online, you usually have a 14 days cooling-off period to change your mind and return the product. Find out more about your right of withdrawal our website. here.

According to a news article published on the website of The Consumers´ Association of Iceland, the association has put the car rental, CC bílaleiga ehf - City Car Rental., on their “shame list”. The Association advises consumers against doing business with that trader.

The reason for that is that CC bílaleiga ehf. has on three occasions lost cases that were submitted by consumers to the complaint board of goods and services (Kærunefnd vöru- og þjónustukaupa).In all three cases the trader rejected to honor the rulings.

According to the article, the claims of the consumers were various and consisted of high amounts.

In one case the consumer had cancelled his car rental booking but had to pay the full amount. The complaint board found in favour of the consumer – that he had the right to receive 75% reimbursement for the amount of 166.500 ISK, as the cancellation terms of the trader were clear.

In the second case the complaint board ruled in favor of the consumer and the trader should refund him 215.000 ISK for the service of a tow truck in relation to a malfunction of a rental car.

In the third case the committee ruled in favour of the consumer, that had demanded a refund for 73.900 ISK due to an alleged damage to a rental car. There was no dispute in the case that the damage had occurred, but the committee believed that the car rental had not proved the extent of the financial loss.

The list of companies on The Consumers´ Association “shame list” can be found here.

When your holiday becomes more expensive than expected - Watch out for (hidden) additional costs

Rising energy prices top the list of main worries at the moment and many consumers will have to limit their travel budget. It is all the more annoying when hidden extra charges pop up during your well-deserved holiday. For World Tourism Day, ECC Iceland explains how consumer can detect and, more importantly, avoid these additional costs.  

Additional costs in hotels

Who is not familiar with this situation? After a long journey, one would like to recover in the hotel room right away. To do so, you sometimes need to check in earlier. However, this is often charged separately. Extra charges for breakfast or parking fees have also become common practice. A local tourism tax is levied in several European countries, for instance in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany and Malta.

On top of that, low-cost hotels in particular charge user fees for the use of safes and TVs in the room. Fast Wi-Fi often costs extra. In Spain, guests are sometimes asked to pay for luggage storage. In the Netherlands, you may have to pay for the use of hairdryers. Also, if you want to borrow a bathrobe in France or Finland, you'll have to pay an extra fee.

Other fees may be added: In Spain, France and Italy, umbrellas and sun loungers cost extra at many public beaches.

Good to know: Before concluding the contract, the vacationer must be informed by the contract or the general terms and conditions which services are included and which are not, and what they cost extra. If there are additional services offered at the location (towel rental, use of faster Internet, etc.), there must be a clear indication of the additional costs on-site at the latest.

Additional costs for package tours

The European package travel law provides that, under certain conditions, the organizer can increase the travel price by up to 8% even after booking. The prerequisite is that

  • • the contract contains such a price adjustment clause,
  • • the traveller was informed of this by means of a form before the contract was concluded,
  • • this clause provides not only an increase but also a decrease in the price of the trip,
  • • the price increase is communicated at least 21 days before departure
  • • the calculation of the new price is transparent
  • • and the costs of fuel and kerosene, port or airport taxes have increased, or the exchange rates have changed. Other cost increases may not be passed on to the customer.

However, if the cost increases were foreseeable at the time of booking or if one of the above conditions is not met, you may refuse payment. Conversely, the price increase is also effective without your consent if all the above conditions are met.

In case of price increases of more than 8%, the organizer must inform you and request that you explicitly accept the increase within a certain period or withdraw from the contract. If you do not respond within this period, the price increase is considered as accepted. So, make sure to respond in time if you do not wish to accept the offer.

Additional costs for flights

Before booking, travellers must be informed of the airfare, including all taxes, fees and surcharges. However, airlines often help themselves out here with a trick: additional services that used to be included in the ticket price are now charged extra. Examples: Check-in at the airport (instead of online), checked baggage, seat selection, meals.

Tips on how to Recognize & avoid additional costs

  • • Read offers carefully and check which services are included before you book. In case of doubt, contact the hotel or the tour operator.
  • • Read costumer reviews to see if other guests have complained about unexpected additional costs.
  • • Ask for the bill before the end of your stay to detect extra charges early on
  • • If you have to pay to be able to check in or out at all, note "Payment subject to reservation" on the invoice. Immediately write to the hotel management or the organizer.
  • • Book cancellable rates. These might be a little bit more expensive, but may save you high cancellation fees in the end.
  • • Before choosing an extra travel insurance: Check if the insurance on your credit card is sufficient.
  • • If you book "all inclusive" you will have fewer surprises when it comes to food and beverage costs.
  • • Book well in advance.
  • • Use a less popular airport.
  • • Book in the off-season or on weekdays that are less busy.
  • • Instead of using the hotel parking: Switch to free public parking lots.

-What are your rights?

After recession of the COVID-19 pandemic there has been a vast increase in tourism between countries. There has been news about long ques at airports that has in the worst cases lead to passengers missing their flights, even though they were at the airport in due time. The reason for these long ques is that many airports have failed to hire enough staff. Airport security has been mentioned in that regard, as new staff members must undergo a special training.

But what are the rights of passengers that are at the airport in due time but misses their flights as check-in or going through security takes too long?

The short answer is that the rights are not completely clear.

The airports are responsible for the security check, but there have been some bottlenecks that has led to passengers missing their flights. As the passenger does not have any direct business contract with the airport, the situation is quite tricky.

Passengers always have the option of getting a refund of airport taxes for unused flights. It is worth to mention that some airlines charge a higher service fee for such a refund than the amount of the airport tax.

If unusual delay with the check-in leads to passenger missing their flights, for example due to staff shortage, it could possibly be looked at as non-compliance on behalf of the airline. Given that the passenger arrives at time and in accordance with the information the airline has provided in the contract.

It is the airlines responsibility to have enough staff at the check in desks and make sure that self-check in booths works. Passengers would have to proof that they arrived in time, such as taking a picture of the clock in the departure hall.

We are not aware of this going to court or to other bodies here in Iceland.

Some airports more difficult than others

Nokkrir flugvellir hafa hafa verið nefndir sérstaklega í fréttum þar sem raðir og örtröð hefur valdið ferðalöngum miklum vandræðum; Manchester, Heathrow, Dublin, Arlanda Stokkhólmi og Schiphol í Amsterdam. Þá hafa dönsku  Neytendasamtökin Tænk vakið athygli á töfum á Kastrup flugvelli. Svo slæm var staðan á flugvellinum í Dublin að 1.400 manns misstu af flugi síðustu helgina í maí. Þurfti forstjóri flugvallarins að mæta fyrir samgöngunefnd írska þingsins og útskýra hvernig flugvöllurinn hyggðist bæta úr málum. Mikil örtröð hefur einnig verið á Arlanda flugvellinum í Stokkhólmi en eigendur vallarins þurftu einnig að útskýra sitt mál fyrir þingnefnd. Arlanda hefur gefið út að búast megi við meiri biðröðum en venja er út sumarið.

There have been no news of passengers missing flights here in Iceland due to long ques. It is however advisable to be at the airport in time, three hours before takeoff

.

ECC í Pólandi hefur tekið saman upplýsingaskjöl um helstu réttindi neytenda sem talið er að geti komið flóttamönnum frá Úkraínu að gagni. Í upplýsingaskjölunum hér að neðan eru tekin saman helstu réttindi neytenda og ferðamanna. Yfirleitt er löggjöfin nokkuð sambærileg innan landa ESB (á Íslandi og Noregi), en það gæti í einhverjum tilvikum verið smá blæbrigðamunur. 

Skjölin eru aðgengileg á ensku og úkraínsku.

Інформація щодо прав споживачів і подорожей доступна українською мовою

Європейський споживчий центр у Польщі розпочав роботу щодо визначення та перекладу основної правової інформації про споживача, яка може бути важливою для біженців з України, які прибувають до ЄС. Наведені нижче інформаційні бюлетені підсумовують різні проблеми щодо прав споживачів та подорожей для біженців з України та тих, хто їм допомагає. Інформаційні бюлетені містять інформацію як англійською, так і українською мовами.

ДОГОВОРИ НА ПРОЖИВАННЯ В ЄС

Long-term and short-term accommodation in the EU

Включає інформацію про:

  • Короткострокове проживання (готелі, хостели)
  • Довгострокове проживання (договори оренди/найму)

Довгострокове та короткострокове проживання в ЄС_UA.pdf

Long-term and short-term accommodation in the EU EN.pdf

ЗАЛИШАТИСЯ НА ЗВ’ЯЗКУ

Mobile phone service in the EU 

Включає інформацію про:

  • Реєстрацію SIM-карти
  • Поради щодо вибору постачальника послуг мобільного зв’язку

ПОСЛУГИ МОБІЛЬНОГО ТЕЛЕФОНУ В ЄС_UA.pdf

MOBILE PHONE SERVICES IN THE EU

ВАШЕ ПРАВО НА ОСНОВНИЙ БАНКІВСЬКИЙ РАХУНОК

Right to a basic bank account

Включає інформацію про:

  • Як відкрити банківський рахунок в ЄС
  • Для чого саме може знадобитись банківський рахунок?

ВАШЕ ПРАВО НА ОСНОВНИЙ БАНКІВСЬКИЙ РАХУНОК

YOUR RIGHT TO A BASIC BANK ACCOUNT

ПРАВА ПАСАЖИРІВ В ЄС

Passenger rights in the EU (general and air travel)

Включає інформацію про:

  • Права пасажирів повітряного транспорту (скасування рейсу, затримка, відмова у посадці, проблеми з багажем)
  • Права авіапасажирів з інвалідністю або обмеженою рухливістю

ПРАВА ПАСАЖИРІВ ПОВІТРЯНИХ СУДЕН

AIR PASSENGER RIGHTS IN THE EU

ПРАВА ПАСАЖИРІВ (ПОЇЗДИ, АВТОБУСИ ТА ЧОВНИ)

Passenger rights (trains, coaches and boats)

Включає інформацію про:

  • Залізничний, автобусний та водний транспорт (наприклад, пороми)
  • Повернення коштів та зміна маршруту

ПРАВА ПАСАЖИРІВ (ПОЇЗДИ, АВТОБУСИ ТА ЧОВНИ)

PASSENGER RIGHTS (TRAINS, COACHES & BOATS)

ОРЕНДА АВТОМОБІЛІВ В ЄС

Renting a car in the EU

Включає інформацію про:

  • Міжнародні водійські права
  • Оплату кредитною або дебетовою карткою
  • Депозити та страхування
  • Скасування

ОРЕНДА АВТОМОБІЛІВ В ЄС

CAR RENTAL IN THE EU

ЮРИДИЧНІ ТА КОМЕРЦІЙНІ ГАРАНТІЇ

Legal and commercial guarantees

Включає інформацію про:

  • Купівлю товарів в ЄС
  • Невідповідність (дефектні продукти, неправильний опис продукту тощо)
  • Юридичну гарантію
  • Повернення та ремонт

ЮРИДИЧНІ ТА КОМЕРЦІЙНІ ГАРАНТІЇ

LEGAL AND COMMERCIAL GUARANTEES

ПРАВО НА СКАСУВАННЯ (ВІДМОВА ВІД ДОГОВОРУ)

Cancellation rights (cooling-off period)

Включає інформацію про:

  • Повернення придбаного товару
  • Вимоги щодо надання інформації про продавця

ПРАВО НА СКАСУВАННЯ (ВІДМОВА ВІД ДОГОВОРУ)

CANCELLATION (COOLING OFF) RIGHTS

Europe Day is celebrated 9th of May each year. On that date in 1950 Robert Schuman, then the foreign minister of France, presented a declaration proposing the creation of a European Coal and Steel Community – which you could say was the beginning of The European Union.

The European Union has for example proposed multiple legislation to protect consumers in Europe.

 

Below is a video showing some of the legislation from the EU

The European Consumer Centres Network issues a warning over scam emails using ECC names and logos. The emails state the recipient has fallen victim to a fraudulent broker and claim to offer help. These emails are fake and were not sent by an ECC-Net office. Have you received a suspicious email? Read about what you can do.

What to look out for

Cybercriminals use phishing emails to ‘fish’ for sensitive information and to steal money. A recent fake email states the recipient has fallen victim to a fraudulent broker based in Cyprus. The email claims to offer help in retrieving the lost investment and asks the recipient to provide details of a bank transaction. The email may also include a fake ‘contract’, which states that the recipient of the email is liable to pay a sum of money in certain cases.

The recent fake email uses names and personal details of employees of the European Consumer Centre in Cyprus. The emails also use ECC and European Union logos. ECC Cyprus has filed a report with the Cyprus police, who are investigating the case.

Important information

  • A European Consumer Centre will never ask you for a payment. All ECC services are completely free of charge.
  • A European Consumer Centre will never send you unsolicited emails offering services. You will only be contacted by an ECC if you yourself have contacted the ECC first.
  • Are you currently receiving help from a local ECC? Please note that you will only be in contact with ECC employees from your local ECC, not with ECC employees from other countries in the network.

Actions you can take

 Have you spotted a suspicious email? Do not respond to the email, click on any links or open any attachments. Find the official contact details for your local European Consumer Centre and contact them. Your local ECC will be able to tell you whether an email is genuine and can help warn other consumers about the scam email if necessary.

From customisable jewellery to real leather belts and life experience boxes, Valentine's Day gift ideas are flourishing on the Internet. But there is only one step from love to purchase and from purchase to scam. To avoid being hit in the heart by an arrow other than cupid's, the European Consumer Centre Iceland delivers useful advice.

Beware of dropshipping sites to buy a gift for Valentine's Day

If you've spotted the perfect gift on the Internet, thanks in particular to the advice of influencers, beware! It may be sold on a dropshipping site.

Dropshipping is when an online seller presents a product, takes and collects the order and then pays the manufacturer, often based in Asia, to deliver the product directly to the buyer. While this practice is legal in Iceland, it often leads to unpleasant surprises. Delivery times can be very long, the product delivered might be of poor quality or even counterfeit and you may even have to pay customs fees to receive your order.

To avoid falling into the dropshipping trap, it is best to check the seriousness of the seller, read the general conditions and compare prices with other sites before ordering.

Be sure before buying a personalised gift online

Although in principle you always have 14 days to change your mind after a distance purchase, there are exceptions. These exceptions include the purchase of products that you have asked to be personalised or a leisure service on a specific date.

So think twice before ordering a bracelet engraved with your sweetheart’s first name or a phone case with a photo of your date or a concert ticket for your loved one’s favourite band. It will be impossible to return it to the seller and ask for a refund.  

The office of ECC-Iceland will be closed on the following dates:

23th of December
24th of December
31st of December

On other dates normal office opening. You can always send us an email to ecc@ecciceland.is, where we will answer at the earliest opportunity..

The European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net)’s brand new website, eccnet.eu, provides information on all relevant issues and dilemmas for European consumers. An international team of ECC-Net members from the Netherlands, Ireland, Sweden, Italy, Cyprus and Germany worked together to produce a hub of consumer rights information and the best user-friendly digital platform to learn about your consumer entitlements in the EU and EEA.

 

The European Consumer Centre Network (ECC-Net) offers European consumers advice on their consumer rights and legal protections when shopping and travelling in another European Union Member State or European Economic Area country. Head over to the website for practical guidance on how to exercise your consumer rights and where to turn to for help when something goes wrong

How we help
We will assist by trying to find an amicable out-of-court solution to a consumer-business dispute by liaising directly with the business you have a problem with. We will ensure that you are informed of your rights and receive expert assistance in your language.

Contact us
Á heimasíðunni, eccnet.euAlongside a wealth of information, at eccnet.eu you will find the contact details of all European Consumer Centres in the EU and selected EEA countries - Norway and Iceland - where you can get in touch with a question or to submit a complaint about a cross-border business.