EU launches phone hotline to help Euro 2008 fans
Football fans can call hotlines to inquire about their consumer rights when attending the Euro 2008 finals.15 May 2008
BRUSSELS - The European Union on Thursday unveiled a telephone helpline aimed at informing football fans about their consumer rights while attending the Euro 2008 finals in Austria and Switzerland.
"We all know the story where airline delays, problems with roaming charges, problems with car hire, lost tickets and fake tickets can become a real headache when you're travelling abroad," a spokeswoman for the EU's executive, the European Commission, said.
"This is about giving people an extra helping hand so they can sort out problems on the ground," she said.
Under the scheme, up to 5 million football fans who are expected to travel to Austria and Switzerland for the competition will be able to phone the helpline and ask experts at the EU's Europe Direct call centre for advice on their consumer rights in any EU languages.
Those in Austria will have a free phone number, 00800 6789 1011, while those in Switzerland - which is not an EU member - will have to call a Belgian number, +32 2299 9696, and will be charged for the call, the spokeswoman said.
The information campaign, which is sponsored by the commission and UEFA, will also include a website and a leaflet of handy consumer hints for travelling fans.
The first hint is to store the helpline numbers in their mobile phones before travelling, the spokeswoman said.
[dpa / Flickr contributor Kecko / Expatica]