Case law

  • Case Details
    • National ID: Ombudsman of the Consumer 3rd of May 2010 (Νo of protocol 1002)
    • Member State: Greece
    • Common Name:link
    • Decision type: Other
    • Decision date: 03/05/2010
    • Court: Ombudsman of the Consumer
    • Subject:
    • Plaintiff:
    • Defendant: O.T.E. A.E. (Greek Telecoms Organization)
    • Keywords: invoice, professional diligence
  • Directive Articles
    Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, Chapter 2, Section 1, Article 6, 1.
  • Headnote
    Claiming amounts from a consumer which were previously deducted from an invoice, even by mistake of the trader, constitutes a misleading commercial practice.
  • Facts
    The plaintiff stated that the defendant, a telecom company, issued invoices to the plaintiff in which a discount was mentioned and described as “discount of credits for two months until….".

    The relevant discounted invoices were paid on time by the plaintiff. However, on a later invoice, issued for a later period of use, an additional amount was charged to the plaintiff, with the justification that this amount was added “due to amounts owed”.

    The defendant informed the plaintiff that the reduction previously awarded was due to telecommunication errors, hence that this amount was not charged to the plaintiff by mistake.

  • Legal issue
    The Ombudsman took into consideration that the defendant is obliged to abide by its contractual obligations in relation to the issuance of correct invoices. To the Ombudsman’s opinion, this is essential since the infringement of these contractual obligations could possibly have caused an impact on consumer property.

    The correct and regular clearance of debts is a criterion that helps shape the habits of the consumers in a specific transaction. It is also a factor that allows the protection of their property.

    In addition, the wrongful issuance of invoices may influence the economic behavior of the consumer with respect to the product or the service concerned. This may lead the consumer to make erroneous payments that can harm him when the consumer is later confronted with an accumulated amount of non-invoiced charges.

    The above obligation results from the contractual obligations of security and care that the defendant has towards any consumer. The infringement of these obligations constitutes an unfair commercial practice since it is a practice contrary to the requirements of professional diligence and since it is likely to materially distort the economic behavior of the average consumer to whom the product is addressed.

  • Decision

    Does claiming from a consumer which were previously deducted from an invoice, even by mistake of the trader, constitute a misleading commercial practice?


    Full text: Full text

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  • Result
    The Ombudsman ruled against the defendant.