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18 March 2015
The Competition Authority (AGCM) recently fined low-cost air carrier Ryanair €550,000 for unfair practices, following an investigation opened in June 2014. The investigation arose from complaints by passengers and consumer associations over major difficulties and exorbitant costs when trying to contact Ryanair regarding the fulfilment of contracts.
The concerned practices involved customer services handled through a charged call centre facility, including:
The AGCM held that it was "unfair and unreasonably expensive" to force customers to contact an overpriced call centre to obtain these services. The AGCM highlighted that Ryanair offered no actual alternative means of assistance to customers aside from the call centre. In particular, it noted that – despite Ryanair's arguments – the online form and online chat services on its website did not constitute actual alternative means of assistance, given that:
The AGCM evaluated Ryanair's practices as even more aggressive in light of:
For further information on this topic please contact Laura Pierallini at Studio Legale Pierallini e Associati by telephone (+39 06 88 41 713) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). The Studio Legale Pierallini e Associati website can be accessed at www.studiopierallini.it.
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