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Frequent questions

Let us clarify some of the most common doubts of the European consumers.

The consumer should demand the same guarantees when shopping on Internet as when shopping in a traditional establishment. And although the majority of companies with online trading comply with the applicable legislation, there are some who do not, leading to a high level of mistrust towards this type of transaction.

Consequently, when you shop on Internet, we recommend that you always confirm the identity of the online shop. Remember that, before making your purchase, the company should provide a clear, free and comprehensible (among other clauses) description of the main characteristics of the goods and services, the identity and contact details of the company, the total price, the procedure for payment, the legal guarantee of conformity for the goods and where the right of withdrawal is applicable, they should indicate the corresponding conditions, procedure and form for doing so.

Basic rights when shopping online:

  • Confirmation of the purchase: The seller shall immediately send the customer proof of the contract made.
  • Delivery time: 30 calendar days from the signing of the contract.
  • Guarantee: The company must provide information about the existence of a guarantee and respond in the event of non-conformities which appear within 2 years of the delivery.
  • Right of withdrawal: As a general rule, the consumer has the right to revoke the contract without needing to justify their decision and without penalty of any class. The maximum time limit for exercising this rule is 14 calendar days from receipt of the product.

The following are excluded from this right:

  • Air and train tickets, concert tickets, hotel reservations, car rental reservations and services for the supply of food for specific dates.
  • Food and refreshments normally delivery home (supermarket delivery for example).
  • Tailor-made or personalised articles (for example a tailored suit, etc.).
  • Sealed audio, video or computer software data support (such as a DVD) which has been opened.
  • Online digital content, if the download or real-time emission has already started.
  • Products purchased from private individuals and not from businesses.
  • Contracts for repair and urgent maintenance (for example, if you call a plumber to repair a dripping tap, you cannot cancel the job once the price of the service has been agreed).

It should be noted that this list is not exhaustive.

This information is provided as a guideline only. For more detailed information about your rights, please see the Spanish Legislation and the directives of the European Legislation regulating e-commerce and the contracting of products and services on Internet.

Identifying a fraud is not always easy. However, in the majority of cases they follow the same pattern: the consumer is asked for a sum of money in advance in exchange for a large sum of money or products at highly advantageous or knock-down prices in the future.

To help you recognise a possible fraud, follow our tips:

- Identify the seller. Check out as much as possible the seller's identity and history. Consult forums and opinions. If you cannot find any contact details or they are dubious, thick twice before paying.

- Use secure methods of payment. Banks and intermediary payment entities on Internet offer tools to minimise the risk. Never pay through remittance companies. If possible, use a credit card as this will give you the possibility of recovering undue charges.

- Look for seals of approval and secure Internet connections. Only send information via Web pages with a secure connection. That is, those that start with https.

- Use your common sense. Be suspicious of offers which are too good to be true. Using your common sense can often help to prevent setbacks.

When making the reservation

Read the terms and conditions carefully and pay special attention to the following points:

- Does the final price include unlimited mileage?

- What are the terms of the basic insurance and of the extensions to the same? To what extent is my liability limited by the payment of an insurance with an excess?

- Is there a charge for collecting the vehicle at one office and dropping it off at another office? And for collecting it at a particular office, for example at an airport? Is it included in the precontract price or will it be included later in the final contract when I collect the vehicle?

Can I take the vehicle out of the country? Does this involve any extra costs?

Credit card or debit card? Although the reservation can often be made with a debit card, a credit card in the driver's name is normally required in order to collect the vehicle.

At the Car Rental Office

Arrive well in advance and make sure that you understand the terms of the contract perfectly before signing. 

The driver will be responsible for any damage to the vehicle from the moment of its collection until it has been inspected by the company at the time of drop-off.

When collecting the vehicle, the office staff will probably offer you the option of an additional insurance with excess to limit your liability. With this extra cover you undertake to pay all the damage repair costs up to the agreed amount, after which the company will be responsible for any costs.

Find out about any particular situations which are not covered by this type of insurance as, in many cases, damage to windows, wheels, windscreen wipers, etc. are not included.

Check what sort of fuel the vehicle uses as a mistake when filling the tank may cause severe damage to the engine, for which the driver will be responsible.

Several options are normally offered with regard to the filling of the tank. Find out which option you have contracted:      

  • Pay for a full tank and return the vehicle as empty as possible.
  • Pick up the vehicle with a full tank and return it full.
  • Pay the company for the fuel you have used.

Inspect the vehicle closely before signing the contract and notify the office staff of any minor damage you find. Make sure that this is recorded in writing in a report and that you are given a copy. Any damage that has not been reported at the time will be the driver's responsibility.

During the rental period

If you have an accident, you must immediately contact the company and fill in the accident report. If third parties are involved, you should ask them to complete the relevant sections.

If an offence is committed, it is the driver's responsibility. The company will normally charge you administrative fees for sending your details to the authority issuing the fine. Then, you will receive the fine at the address provided in the contract.

Returning the vehicle

Arrive at the rental office in good time and make sure that a company employee inspects the car.

Although many cars offer the option to return the car when the office is closed, we recommend you return the vehicle during office hours. Otherwise, you will be responsible for any damage to the vehicle until a member of staff inspects the car.

Take photos of the interior and exterior of the vehicle at the time of return.

Infographic

If you are a resident in Spain and you experience an incident related to delays, cancellations or denied boarding in air transport, you should submit a claim to the airline at the earliest opportunity. For this, you may use the complaint forms provided by the airlines at the information desks or points of sale in the airports. 

Provide all the substantiating documents in your possession and do not forget to keep your ticket and any other documents used. Next, contact a public body which will help you with your claim:

- If you are flying with an airline from the EU, Norway or Iceland: Contact us (Incluir aquí el link de How to submit a claim).

- In any case (incidents of passengers resident in Spain relating to delays, cancellations or denied boarding occurring in national or international territory), your claim can be sent through the AESA.

RIGHTS IN THE CASE OF DENIED BOARDING

In the case of denied boarding, the company shall ask for volunteers and agree the compensation with them. If there are not enough volunteers and passengers are denied boarding against their will, the rights of the passenger include:

  • Right to Information The airline must give you a leaflet containing the conditions of assistance and compensation.
  • Right to assistance. The air company must provide the necessary assistance: adequate meals and refreshments, two free-of-charge telephone calls or access to e-mail and, if necessary, one or more nights of hotel accommodation and transport between the airport and the place of accommodation.
  • Right to reimbursement or alternative transport. The passenger may select one of the following three options which must be offered by the air carrier:
    • Reimbursement of the ticket within seven days.
    • Re-routing, under comparable conditions, to their final destination at the earliest opportunity.
    • Re-routing, under comparable conditions, to their final destination at a later date at the passenger's convenience, subject to availability of seats.
  • Right to compensation, between 250 € and 600 €, depending on the distance of the flight, although this amount may be reduced by 50% when the air carrier offers re-routing and the delay on arrival at the destination is acceptable.
Distance Compensation 50% reduction if the delay on arrival is less than
Up to 1.500 km. 250 € 2 hours
Flights between 1.500 km and 3.500 km as well as intra-Community flights of 1.500 km. 400 € 3 hours
More than 3.500 km. 600 € 4 hours

RIGHTS IN THE EVENT OF CANCELLATION

In the event of cancellation, the consumer is entitled to:

  • Information, assistance and reimbursement or re-routing under the same conditions as for the case of denied boarding.
  • Right to compensation under the same conditions as for denied boarding unless they were informed of the cancellation at least 14 days before the scheduled departure or if the air carrier can prove that the cancellation was caused by extraordinary circumstances.

RIGHTS IN THE EVENT OF MAJOR DELAYS IN DEPARTURES

Passenger rights in the case of a delayed departure include:

  • Right to Information. The airline must give you a leaflet containing the conditions of assistance and compensation.
  • Right to assistance. According to the following limits:
Distance Right to assistance if the departure delay is more than
Up to 1.500 km. 2 hours
Flights between 1.500 km and 3.500 km as well as intra-Community flights of more than       1.500 km. 3 hours
More than 3.500 km. 4 hours
  • Right to reimbursement. When the delay is at least five hours, and the passenger chooses not to travel, where applicable, a return flight to the first point of departure, at the earliest opportunity.

RIGHT IN THE EVENT OF DELAYS IN ARRIVALS

When the final destination is reached three or more hours after the scheduled arrival time, the passenger may be entitled to compensation identical to that to which they would be entitled in the event of cancellation of a flight, unless the air carrier is able to prove that the delay was caused by extraordinary circumstances.

These rights are for guidance only. Consult Regulation 261/2004 regulating the rights of passengers in the event of denied boarding, cancellation and major delay.

If your suitcase has suffered damage or your luggage has been lost, you must claim to the company. The company is responsible for repairing or restoring the damage caused. On the other hand, the airline is responsible for the checked baggage.

When you notice any irregularity with your luggage (loss, damage or delay), communicate it immediately, before leaving the airport, at the counters of the airline, or if it does not have a presence at the airport to your agent or representative at the airport in the authorized counter.

When you report an incident on your baggage at the airport, the airline or its handling agent will issue a baggage irregularity report (PIR) and will give you a copy. Save this document, as it is the one requested by the airline when you claim.

For many companies it is essential to present the PIR form to accept a claim related to luggage, so we recommend that you fill it out before leaving the airport.

In addition, you must submit a formal written complaint to which you must attach a copy of the PIR in accordance with the terms established in the Montreal Convention:

Damage to luggage: 7 days from receipt of luggage.

Baggage delay: 21 days from receipt of luggage.

Loss of baggage: There is no limit established in the Agreement, but it is recommended to make the claim as soon as possible, after the 21 days during which the suitcase has been "delayed", or after the airline has confirmed that your baggage is lost.

Please note that without protest on your part, it will be considered, unless proven otherwise, that it has been delivered in good condition and in accordance with the transport document.

If your flight entails making a connection with more than one company, you may be able to check in your luggage from the departure to the final destination. If you do this and something happens with your luggage, you can claim against any of the companies that have transported the luggage.

If the divergences with the company cannot be resolved, the passenger can claim through the courts. It has a term of two years, from the date of arrival at the destination or the day the aircraft should have arrived. The rules of application in these cases is the Montreal Convention, ratified by Spain in 2004.

Are you entitled to any compensation?

The liability of the carrier in case of destruction, loss, damage or delay in the transport of luggage is limited to 1,131 special drawing rights* per passenger, unless the passenger has made the carrier a special declaration of the value of the delivery of checked baggage when receiving the baggage at the place of destination and, where appropriate, paid an additional amount. However, and to ensure sufficient coverage, it is advisable to take out private insurance when traveling with valuables.

* Special drawing rights shall be converted into the national currency of a State according to the value of that currency on the date of the judgment or on the date agreed upon by the parties. The value, in terms of special drawing rights, of a national currency of a Contracting State shall be calculated in accordance with the valuation method applied by the International Monetary Fund in effect on the date in question for its operations and transactions.

For further information, please see the Montreal Convention

Review of the limits of responsibility. Montreal Convention

The European Union legislation establishes a minimum legal guarantee of two years for all products, whether the purchase has been made by Internet, at a traditional establishment or by mail order.

It is possible that the legislation in each country offers further protection. Nevertheless, any difference with respect to the EU legislation must always favour the consumer.

In addition, in those cases in which the product received does not correspond to the product contracted, consumers are entitled to receive the product at no additional cost and may select between repair, replacement or a reduction in price or refund of the amount paid.

As a general rule, a full or partial refund can only be requested if it is not possible to repair or replace the product.

If the products are second-hand, given their nature, the guarantee period may be less than two years and the general rule of replacement will not apply.

For further information, please see the European legislation:

Directive 1999/44/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 May 1999 on certain aspects of the sale of consumer goods and associated guarantees.

Directive 2011/83/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2011 on consumer rights, amending Council Directive 93/13/EEC and Directive 1999/44/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and repealing Council Directive 85/577/EEC and Directive 97/7/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council Text with EEA relevance.