This section explains the actions that tourists can take in the case of administrative violations (e.g. non-correspondence between the classification of accommodation facilities and the services offered, discrepancies in published and paid rates, disregard of hygiene and health regulations, and refusal to issue receipts); as well as penal violations, such as theft and fraud; how to make claims and address inefficiencies and breakdowns; and offers assistance and advice.
Administrative violations concern i.e. the non-correspondence between the classification of accommodation facilities and the services offered by them; the request of prices which are different from the ones displayed; the lack of foreseen authorizations or licenses; non-compliance with hygiene and health regulations; and the refusal to issue receipts.
When similar events occur, tourists should refer to the local Municipal Police, or to other Public Security Authorities, or seek the assistance of Consumer Associations.
Cases of theft or fraud must be reported to the Carabinieri (Military Police) or to the State Police, whose report must be attached to the claim for damages.
When cases of inefficiency take place during a trip or stay, it is always adivsed to refer to the supplier of the services in order to receive adequate explanations on the matter. If the given explanations are not satisfactory, it is possible to proceed in order to assert one's rights, keeping in mind that it is important to collect and conserve all the required documentation and evidence supporting the claim (photographs, signed statements from other tourists, receipts of costs accrued, etc.). When a case of inefficiency regards more than one person, collective claims can be brought forth.
Assistance and Advice
For information, assistance, protection and advice regarding their rights, tourists can contact the appropriate Consumer Associations, which are affiliated with the Consiglio Nazionale dei Consumatori e degli Utenti - National Consumers Council.
Tourists can also refer to the “Europe Direct” service by calling 00800 67891011 from anywhere in the European Union, or by sending an e-mail through a questionnaire available here.
Conciliation and Arbitration
As far as economic disputes regarding tourist services are concerned, extra-judicial practices allow for conciliation and arbitration. During the procedure of conciliation, a conciliator, a third impartial party, is chosen by the parties in order to help them reach a solution acceptable to both.
Arbitration is a process of resolution through which it is possible to solve trade problems. A neutral third party issues a final decision considered legally enforceable. These procedures are particularly convenient, alternative ways to resolve disputes, given their rather short duration and reduced costs.
Conciliation can be sought through consumer associations, to be presented before before the arbitration and conciliation commissions of territorially-competent Commerce Chambers. As far as the resolution of disputes regarding consumption in the countries of the European Union and of the European Economic Area are concerned, information from the“European Consumer Centres Network - ECC Net” is available at http://www.ecc-netitalia.it/ or http://www.euroconsumatori.org/16836.html.