Know your rights in Europe

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TRAVELLING to Europe this summer? Then do your homework on consumer rights.

Here are some revision notes from UK European Consumer Centre:

If a flight is delayed by more than two hours, consumers should be entitled to claim for meals and refreshments or overnight accommodation, depending on the amount of time they are delayed. If it is more than five hours, consumers are entitled to a refund for the unused part of the ticket if they decide not to travel, or can choose to be re-routed at a later time.

It is common for airlines to ‘over-sell’ the number of seats available on a flight. When this occurs, the airline must ask for people to give up their seats. Volunteers should be offered financial compensation, which is agreed between themselves and the airline, in addition to being given the choice of an alternative flight or a refund. If volunteers are not forthcoming, the airline can deny boarding - but should offer compensation.

The Montreal Convention states that you should be able to claim up to a certain amount for checked-in luggage if it is lost, delayed or damaged by the airline.

The EU Consumer Sales Directive 99/44/EC protects consumers when buying goods. The goods must ‘be of a satisfactory quality and fit for purpose for two years’.

If the goods do not conform to contract, consumers may be entitled to a repair or replacement. For the first six months after purchase, it will be for the retailer to prove the goods were not faulty.

After six months and up to the two years, the consumer must prove the goods were faulty.

Consumers are advised when buying goods costing more than £100 to use a credit card.

Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 may place equal liability on the credit card company and the seller.

The act states consumers can hold the credit card company equally liable for any breach of contract - such as faulty goods, non-delivery of items, poor services or misrepresentation - and attempt to claim a refund from the firm.