Onnibus website gave inadequate information on the rights of the passengers

The Finnish Consumer Ombudsman has drawn the attention of Onnibus.com to the shortcomings in the information they have provided on the rights of bus and coach passengers. The bus company has announced that it will correct the shortcomings on its website as required by the Consumer Ombudsman.

When a bus company sells journeys the distance of which is 250 km or more to passengers, it must comply with certain requirements laid down in the Regulation concerning the rights of passengers in bus and coach transport. The carrier shall ensure, inter alia, that passengers are provided with appropriate and comprehensible information regarding their rights in cases of cancellation, delay and overbooking. This information shall be provided at the latest on departure, but information on the rights must also be provided online, where applicable.

On its website, Onnibus provided partly incomplete information on consumer rights in case of cancellation when the distance of the journey is at least 250 km. Based on the observations made by the Consumer Ombudsman, the website did not provide information on the rights of passengers in any other form than in individual text highlights. The Consumer Ombudsman reminded Onnibus about the fact that, on the website, information must be provided so that the passengers get all essential information on their rights.

The Consumer Ombudsman required that the company provide the essential information on both its Finnish and English websites. In addition, the Consumer Ombudsman urged Onnibus to update the out-of-date information on the supervisory authorities it had on its website. Onnibus announced that it would complement the information on its website as required.

The Consumer Ombudsman’s competence includes, among other things, the supervision of the information requirements laid down in the Regulation concerning the rights of passengers in bus and coach transport. On the other hand, based on the Regulation concerning the rights of passengers in bus and coach transport, the responsibility for the supervision of the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility is assigned to the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom.

Compensation practices for journeys cancelled due to coronavirus epidemic also under investigation

At the same time, the Consumer Ombudsman requested an account from Onnibus of the compensation practices for journeys cancelled due to the coronavirus epidemic. The Consumer Ombudsman considered the company’s account sufficient, and there was no reason to take other measures regarding the compensation practices.

This article is part of the Consumer Ombudsman’s Newsletter 1/2021. The article was originally published in Finnish in the Consumer Ombudsman’s Newsletter 5–6/2020