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Case detail



Directive article National ID Slovak Trade Inspection, 24/10/2013, ref. code: P/0269/05/13
Country Slovakia Decision date 24/10/2013
Common name Decision type Administrative decision, first degree
Court Slovenská obchodná inšpekcia, Inšpektorát Slovenskej obchodnej inšpekcie so sídlom v Žiline pre Žilinský kraj Plaintiff(s) Unknown
Court translation Slovak Trade Inspection, Inspectorate of the Slovak Trade Inspection with its registered seat in Žilina for the Žilina Region Defendant(s) MobilPC, s.r.o.
Subject consumer rights
Keywords misleading statementstrader's commitments

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Headnote

It constitutes an unfair commercial practice to limit mandatory consumers' rights, which cannot be derogated from by contract.

Facts

The administrative body established that the terms and conditions used by the defendant contained many limitations of the consumer's rights.

For example, the terms and Conditions of the defendant contained an obligation incumbent on the customer to return the product in original undamaged package, in case the consumer wished to withdraw from the contract. In case a complaint was submitted, the consumer needed to fill out and send a complaint form to the defendant. Only defects stated in the complaint form were subject to complaint handling.

It was also stated that if the consumer breached any of the obligations in the defendant's terms and conditions, he or she could not withdraw from the contract and the defendant was therefore not obliged to return the money and the consumer should reimburse the re-delivery costs.

Another provision of the terms and conditions stipulated that the defendant was not be liable for late delivery caused by a courier service or the Slovak Post. Complaint for non-delivery or delivery of damaged goods shall be submitted to the courier service or Slovak Post.
 

Legal issue

Does it constitute an unfair commercial practice to limit mandatory consumers' rights, which cannot be derogated from by contract?

Decision

The court stated that the producer, trader, importer or supplier may not deceive the consumer; in particular, they may not state untrue, undocumented, incomplete, inaccurate, obscure or ambiguous information or withhold information concerning the characteristics of a product or service or concerning purchase terms and conditions.

Unfair commercial practices shall be prohibited. In particular, commercial practice is deemed to be unfair if it is a misleading action, misleading omission or an aggressive commercial practice.

A commercial practice shall be considered as misleading if it causes or is likely to cause the consumer to enter into a transaction that he or she would not have entered otherwise because it contains false information and is therefore untruthful or in any way deceives or is likely to deceive the average consumer, even if the information is factually correct in relation to, among others, the main characteristics of the product, such as its availability, benefits, risks, execution, composition, accessories, after-sale customer assistance and complaint handling, method and date of manufacture or provision, delivery, fitness for purpose, usage, quantity, specification, geographical or commercial origin or the results to be expected from its use, or the results and material features of tests or checks carried out on the product.

The trader is obliged to duly inform the consumer about the conditions for, and method of filing a complaint, including the information on where a complaint can be submitted and on the performance of warranty repairs. The rules of complaint procedure must be displayed on a visible place accessible to the consumer.

By providing the consumer with information which limited mandatory consumer rights, the defendant has breached the provisions on unfair commercial practices, so the administrative body held.
 

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Result

The administrative body imposed a fine of € 490.

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