- Consumption.Gift travel package to the European epicenter of the coronavirus
The Minister of Consumption, Alberto Garzón, explained on Wednesday some of the measures in the matter of consumption included on Tuesday in the royal decree with measures approved by the Government to face the economic crisis derived from the coronavirus pandemic.
One of the problems that has existed since the crisis broke out (weeks before the confinement began) has to do with the trips that users had bought and which, as a result of the state of alarm and the closure of borders, were not may perform.Where does the problem arise? From the beginning, the airlines were willing to change dates and make refunds, but the problem arises when this trip has been managed through an intermediary: a travel agency or a website that processes the package for you (ticket, hotel ...). For weeks, consumer associations have denounced that these intermediaries were offering bonuses to users, to be able to make the trip in the future, but the money was not returned. What does the Government say about it? The Royal Decree approved yesterday regulates all this problematic. It contemplates that users can claim the refund of their tickets or trips to travel companies and agencies (or through vouchers) or suspend service contracts (from payment of gym or academies, to concert tickets, for example What happens to the tickets for shows? In the case of the acquisition of goods or services that could not be delivered or provided, the Royal Decree-Law allows the consumer to request the termination of the contract within 14 days and For its part, the company may offer the user an alternative such as that of the substitute voucher or voucher which, according to Consumption, "must be accepted by the consumer or user." In this case, the entrance to a concert, a festival or of a show, will have to be reimbursed. Alberto Garzón's department defends that, with the new measures, the Government seeks to have agreements between companies and consumers to "avoid economic damages". And the monthly payments for the gym, the English academy, yoga ...? the services called successive tract services, which imply monthly fees (the gym, the language schools, the extracurricular classes ... Companies will not be able to charge the user the monthly fee after the activity ceases and, in addition, the consumer has the right to that they return the proportional part of the time that they have not enjoyed the service as a result of the state of alarm. What happens to trips purchased through agencies or third parties? In the case of provision of services that include various providers, such as travel, combined, the consumer "may choose to request a refund or make use of the voucher that will be provided by the organizer or the retailer". There are intermediaries who are giving vouchers to Travel agencies, for example, point out that they cannot reimburse customers for money until the providers (airlines, hotels, etc.) give them the money in turn. The Royal Decree-Law establishes that the Government will allow agencies to offer a one-year bond to affected consumers, when operators do not reimburse the corresponding amounts, or to return the money if this bond has not been used after the period What if I do not use the voucher that the agency gives me in the established time? They will have one year to use this voucher and if they do not use it, users will be able to request a refund. In the event that the trip is combined and has been purchased from an intermediary, such as a travel agency, for example, you may request a refund of the money (and not the voucher) as long as the provider companies (the airline or the hotel ) has in turn paid to the agency the amount of the services not provided. If within 60 days there has been no agreement between the parties on an alternative (change the dates, deliver a voucher ...), the company " will proceed to refund the money, "according to Consumption.
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- Alberto Garzón
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