Companies will have to give alternatives or refunds to those who have paid for services not enjoyed during confinement.



The Council of Ministers today approved new measures to protect consumers during the coronavirus crisis, which include extending the moratorium on mortgages to consumer loans and forcing companies to give alternatives to those who have paid for goods or services for which have not been able to enjoy.

The moratorium on consumer credit payments is aimed at vulnerable people and will last three months, expandable, sources from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs told eldiario.es. The assumptions to be considered vulnerable will be the same as in the mortgage moratorium. There are several, but the most important is that the debtor becomes unemployed or that, in case of being an entrepreneur or professional, he suffers a substantial decrease in his sales.

On the other hand, a consumer protection package is approved. Those who have paid for services not enjoyed (flights, hotels, gyms, nurseries, etc.) will have the right to be offered an alternative by the provider. In case of not accepting it, they will be entitled to a refund. The measure changes according to the type of service:

– Travel agencies that have sold combined packages (flight and hotel) will have to offer their customers a voucher valid for one year. If after that year the customer has not enjoyed the bonus, they will have to refund the money.

– Companies that have sold individual services (for example, a hotel) that the client has not been able to enjoy, will have 60 days to offer an alternative. If in those 60 days the client does not enjoy the alternative, he will be entitled to a refund.

– Finally, the establishments (gyms, nurseries, student residences, etc.) that have continued to collect fees while they have been closed will have to offer their customers a “recovery of services” when the state of alarm ends.

For example: if you have paid a month of gym but you have not been able to go, the gym should offer you something in return. It can be a free month or another service: the Government does not talk about how it should be resolved, because it is part of the relationship between provider and customer. If the client does not accept these services, they have the right to get their money back.

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