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A few weeks ago I had intended to take a bus with Terravision bus in Italy, however they informed me the day before the trip that due to technical problems there was no service on that line on the day I was traveling.

To get to my destination I therefore took alternate means and I have written to Terravision asking for a refund of my expenses. They did not reply within the deadline (of two weeks) I set them and while I will wait a little longer for their response, I would like to know, what are my options.

Entertaining a legal case for EUR15 is unfortunately over the top. However I know that in Germany I could contact the German Conciliation Body for Public Transport to start an arbitration process and I have made good experiences with that. They review claims on a case-by-case basis and while their recommendation is non-binding, it is usually accepted by the carrier.

  • Is there a similar institution in Italy / for cases that are based in Italy? A European institution is of course fine as well if responsible for such cases.

  • Alternatively, are there any other options that I am not aware of right now, that go beyond contacting the service provider but fall short of legal action?

In my case the journey was ca. 100km, should have taken a bit more than an hour with Terravision and now took me almost two hours but still arrived more or less the same time because I was able to depart earlier.

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    Did you pay by credit card? A chargeback dispute with the credit card is an option. I did this once with a (privately owned) bus company in the US and got my money back. – Zach Lipton Jul 10 '16 at 17:07
  • Unfortunately in this case my expenses (EUR15) are considerably larger than what I paid for the fare in the first place (EUR5) so I would not consider that an option in my case, but it may be useful to others. @ZachLipton – mts Jul 10 '16 at 17:09
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    mts meet Italy. Italy meet mts. :) I didn't really think this would be worth even trying to look up, but there is something interesting here: euroconsumatori.eu/leggiarticolo.php?id=657 or here ilsole24ore.com/art/notizie/2014-06-02/… – Berwyn Jul 10 '16 at 21:39
  • How long was the trip? >250km? – JoErNanO Jul 11 '16 at 10:41
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    The second link also mentions buses – Berwyn Jul 11 '16 at 11:27
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There is an arbitration/conciliation agency for public transport Italy. It is called the Autorità Regolazione Trasporti (ART). They are the ones who ensure that your rights as a passengers are guaranteed. Your rights a passenger on a bus are defined in the EU regulation n. 181/2011, which was converted into an Italian law by the Decreto legislativo 4 novembre 2014 n. 169. The ART went ahead and paraphrased the Italian decree into a Regolamento which states your rights. In addition, there is a form, available online on the ART website, you can fill in to voice a complaint.

The Regolamento states that, as your journey was shorter than 250km, you do not have the right to claim a reimbursement, nor a validity extension for your ticket. The only rights you have are, quoting from the EU regulation:

  1. As regards the services referred to in paragraph 1 but where the scheduled distance of the service is shorter than 250 km, Article 4(2), Article 9, Article 10(1), point (b) of Article 16(1), Article 16(2), Article 17(1) and (2), and Articles 24 to 28 shall apply.

Which, in Italian, are:

I seguenti diritti fondamentali saranno applicabili a tutti i servizi regolari, indipendentemente dalla distanza prevista del servizio:

  • condizioni di trasporto non discriminatorie,
  • accesso al trasporto di persone con disabilità e a mobilità ridotta senza oneri aggiuntivi e risarcimento finanziario per la perdita o il danneggiamento delle attrezzature che ne agevolano la mobilità,
  • norme minime in materia di informazione dei passeggeri prima e durante il viaggio, nonché informazioni di carattere generale sui loro diritti,
  • sistemi per la gestione dei reclami accessibili a tutti i passeggeri, appositamente predisposti dai vettori;
  • organismi nazionali indipendenti in ogni Stato membro incaricati di garantire l’applicazione del regolamento e, se del caso, di imporre sanzioni.

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