Italian Competition Authority AGCM (Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato) has fined Vueling for 1 million Euros, consumer website Help Consumatori published.
Three unfair trade practices will cost Vueling a total of 1 million Euros:
- misleading consumers (AGCM word for passengers) for its online check-in, widely promoted as “for free”, yet in some conditions (e.g. exhaustion of available seats) consumers had to pay 15€ to be able to check in online and get a boarding pass, the airline didn’t advise that check-in at the airport was always free of charge.
- Vueling also promoted the purchase of a discount coupon of 25%, AGCM ruled that the discount coupon was ambiguous and misleading: it did not allow the consumer to understand exactly the actual cost of the purchase and, in particular, the amount of the discount.
- A third item: Vueling’s passengers encountered considerable difficulties in accessing the exercise of their contractual rights. For the request for assistance and complaint, the company induced the consumer to call for a pay-per-view number, the cost of which could reach 15 euros per call without informing the existence of a web form on the web site. Its use, did not allow full assistance.
The first two practices are in violation of Articles 20, 21 and 22 of the Consumer Code, AGCM concludes.