European Consumer Centres
If problems arise with a product purchased from a Polish trader when we return home, since the trader resides in an EU member country, European consumers can use the network of the European Consumer Centres.
Maltese consumers can contact the ECC Malta and file a complaint there. ECC Malta can help Maltese customers to reach an amicable solution with the foreign trader.
If this is not achieved, the ECC Malta can also help take the case to an Alternative Dispute Resolution Body in the overseas country.
Furthermore, the European Consumer Centre in Poland has compiled a ‘First Aid Consumer Kit’, aimed at consumers travelling to Poland and Ukraine for Euro 2012. This information may be downloaded from www.eccnetmalta.gov.mt.
On the ECC Malta website one can also find information on the EU-Uefa consumer information campaign for fans travelling to watch the European championship. This includes:
• A webpage offering tips specially aimed at travelling football fans;
• Europe Direct services to answer any online query on general EU affairs and consumer laws;
• A consumer infoline in English, operated by Federacja Konsumentów, providing legal advice to those anyone who may run into consumer problems in Poland.
If the problem is with a Ukrainian trader, we need to contact the All-Ukrainian Consumer’s Federation – PULSE. The Ukrainian consumer infoline is 00 3804 4528 9205.
The ‘Fan’s guide’ issued by Poland and Ukraine also includes useful information on transport in these two countries. First of all, bus, tram, and train tickets may be purchased at stations or at newsagents.
Some drivers or train conductors also sell tickets.
In Ukraine, the conductor collects tickets at the start of the trip and returns them about half-an-hour before reaching the destination.
Taxis in Poland may either be paid using a credit card or cash. On the other hand, Ukrainian taxi drivers only accept cash. Consumers should also be aware that taxis on stand-by near tourist attractions may be more expensive than taxis ordered by phone. In addition to the initial payment, an average price per kilometre in Warsaw is €0.55, and in Kiev, €0.22.
If you decide to rent a car, you need a driving licence. In Poland it is obligatory to be covered at least by third party insurance . In Ukraine it is obligatory to have the Green Card, which is also third party insurance.
Before renting a car, it is advisable to ask what exactly the insurance and price covers, and to check the contract for any additional payments.
Check the car condition and make sure all the terms and conditions of the agreement are in writing. When returning the car, customers should ensure there is a signed delivery report stating that the car suffered no damages.
Mobile roaming service
If we need to make a phone call from our mobile phone in Poland, all mobile phone operators may only charge the standard euro tariff. This applies to both pre-paid and post-paid customers.
Currently this tariff stands at €0.35c per minute, but if the phone call is less than half-a-minute, then the charge should not exceed €0.23,70, excluding VAT and duty tax. Per second billing has to be applied thereafter.
As to calls received while abroad, the tariff is €0.11c, excluding VAT and duty tax. From July, prices for roaming will be lowered to €0.29c per minute for outgoing calls.
There is also a standard ‘Euro-SMS’ tariff, which is €0.13,37, including VAT and duty tax.
There is no charge for receiving an SMS while abroad.
In the case of Ukraine, since this country is not an EU member, mobile phone calls are more expensive. In case of frequent phone calls during the stay, it is worth buying a phone card of a local operator.