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An Irish consumer rented a villa in the Netherlands. The villa was advertised as offering ‘VIP style’ luxurious accommodation. Based on this description, the consumer decided to rent this particular villa. Upon arrival, the villa was found to be dirty and it looked nothing like the photographs provided in the catalogue. The consumer took photographs and also filmed the villa, making a formal complaint to the management of the rental company. At the time the trader agreed that there was some difference between the photographs and the actual property and agreed to refund €150 to settle the dispute. This offer was rejected by the consumer as the cost for the rental of the property was €1,479.79. The case was shared with ECC Netherlands. ECC Netherlands contacted the trader on the consumer’s behalf but they refused to increase their offer of €150. ECC Netherlands referred the matter to the Dutch ADR Complaints Board for Leisure. The fee for this service is €50 and paid by the consumer. The complaints Board for Leisure gave the trader one final opportunity to resolve the dispute and an offer of €750 compensation was made. The consumer accepted this offer and the dispute was resolved successfully.

 

An Irish consumer bought a computer from a German online retailer for €1,200. Three months after purchase the PC would not start. It was established that this was due to a faulty mother­board and the trader asked the consumer to send the faulty part to them. Upon receipt of the part the trader informed the consumer that the motherboard was not defective and the fault was due to mechanical damage caused by the consumer. The consumer denied this and requested a new computer or a full refund of €1,200. ECC Ireland shared the case with ECC Germany but ECC Germany could not reach an amicable resolution with the trader and the complaint was referred to an online ecommerce ADR. The ADR reached an agreement with the trader and a refund of €140 to cover the cost of replacing the faulty component was proposed and accepted.

 

A Spanish consumer hired a vehicle for three days in December 2008. On the last day of the hire period, the consumer was involved in an accident. The damage caused to both vehicles was considered minor and the hire vehicle was returned to the car rental company containing a minor scratch on the bumper. An accident report was completed and the consumer was informed that his deposit would be retained and the cost of the repair would be deducted from it. Upon his return to Spain, the consumer was shocked to receive an invoice for the cost of the repair indicating that the final cost was €1,251.96. The consumer expressed his concern that this invoice was printed on the car rental company headed paper and it did not indicate the date that the repairs were carried out. He also considered that the cost of the repairs was excessive. ECC Ireland contacted the trader directly who failed to resolve the complaint or offer a valid explanation of the charges. ECC Ireland then referred the complaint to the Car Rental Council of Ireland which agreed that the charges were excessive and recommended that the consumer be refunded a total of €405.51.

 

A UK based consumer visited an Irish trader’s website to purchase €5 credit for her Irish mobile phone. At the time the site was continually crashing resulting in the consumer receiving a text message stating that €15 had been topped up in the form of three amounts of €5. The consumer intended to purchase €5 in total, and thus was overcharged by €10. Despite attempting to resolve the matter on numerous occasions, the trader refused to refund the €10. ECC UK shared the complaint with ECC Ireland. ECC Ireland sent emails and registered letters to the trader but received no reply. ECC Ireland then requested the consumer’s permission to refer the case to the Commission for Communication Regulation (ComReg) which is the regulatory body responsible for communication services in Ireland. ComReg resolved the dispute in favour of the consumer and a refund was received.