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back to article EC threatens legal action against airline websites

Some of Europe's leading airlines could be forced to shut down their websites next year if they fail to respond to damning criticism dished out in a report from the European Commission (EC). Results of the EC's consumer watchdog investigation, which is due out tomorrow, found that about 200 European airline websites were …

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That old EU - they are so WKD

Insisting on accuracy on web sites - good one that - I nearly fell for it - is it 1st April?

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Anonymous Coward

Time the EC looked at ebay too

Airlines are not the only ones that mislead the public by showing initial prices that don't include tax. Ebay shows search results that mix vat inclusive and vat exclusive prices.

It's legal to show misleading prices like this in the states but NOT in UK or the rest of Europe.

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Silver badge
Stop

And while they are at it....

Can they stop retailers advertising items for 1p with £20 p&p, just so that the price compare websites get fooled.

Unfortunatly many also use this technique as a scam when you try to get your money back, as most people don't know they have to refund the postage as well.

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Helix Desk Tidy

All the offending airlines need to do it reverse the order of the questions you are asked. That would make it much clearer and a bit more fun. So the order becomes:

How do you want to pay? (Visa/Switch etc...)

Did you want insurance with that?

Will you check-in on line?

Did you fancy sitting near your mates?

Did you want to put a bag in the aeroplane belly?

What dates and times were you looking at?

Where did you want to go?

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What will any punishment turn out to be?

And what’s the EC’s initial threat? Name and shame. One ‘expert’ BBC News 24 got into their studio said he didn’t know if banning websites would even be legal. Name and shame… like that’s going to be 100% effective. There’s one airline that seems to revel in bad publicity. Whether it’s families with babies dumped at tiny airports in the middle of nowhere when the last flight of the day is cancelled, or the truly awful treatment of some disabled travellers. This airline seems to be of the opinion the people will keep coming. And, looking at their financial results, especially when compared with other airlines, they seem to be right.

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Bronze badge

@Time the EC looked at ebay too

Sorry, the rest of Europe is not like this:

In France, any price selling to an end-user should indicate VAT-inclusive prices. If you display VAT exclusive prices you must clearly lable the prices "HT" (hors taxes - without tax), and you may not mix VAT inclusive and exclusive prices in a same pricelist.

This came about generally due to Dell ads aimed at the general public in the late 90's showing computers for sale about 20% cheaper than the competition with great A4 ads with 4 inch high prices and site 6 font small print informing the customer that the price was VAT exclusive at the bottom of the document - as the great unwashed could not reclaim that VAT, the ads were judged misleading.

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Anonymous Coward

How about vat then?

"In France, any price selling to an end-user should indicate VAT-inclusive prices."

Same in the UK, its just EBAY (and the airline websites) that fail to understand the law properly. Either that, or they're DELIBERATELY flouting the law, but in ebay's case it looks like incompetence rather than intention.

They probably need the ability to list vat-exclusive because its OK in the USA where its apparently perfectly acceptable to make misleading statements. But there is absolutely no reason why ebay can not change all prices to vat inclusive when viewed through the .co.uk or other EU domains.

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Flame

what's the problem

They are listing the price of their product. Taxes, (vat, sales, airport charges) are the add in of the local gov't and are calculated at time of purchase.

Yes, that's the way we do it in the US, that way you see the price of the product up front. It's the only reasonable way to allow for multiple jurisdictions. Don't blame us for your foolish system.

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@what's the problem

"Don't blame us for your foolish system."

Why ever not ? You are to blame for everything else.... it saves valuable brain cycles to just blame the US, leaving more time/energy for important things like.. ummm..

Oh look - a dog with a funny tail.

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Bronze badge
Anonymous Coward

Curtis' ignorance

"It's the only reasonable way to allow for multiple jurisdictions."

...except that the whole of the EU has harmonised VAT, so there is no such thing as a "multiple jurisdiction". The foolish system is the one where you cross the street and have to pay a different amount of tax. Now where is that, I wonder?

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