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Case Details

Case Details
National ID no of protocol 30412
Member State Greece
Common Name link
Decision type Other
Decision date 06/10/2016
Court Ombudsman of the Consumer
Subject
Plaintiff Unknown
Defendant Unknown
Keywords distance contracting, goods, payment, right of withdrawal, vouchers

Consumer Rights Directive, Chapter 3, Article 9, 1. Consumer Rights Directive, Chapter 3, Article 13, 1. Consumer Rights Directive, Chapter 3, Article 13, 1.

In case that a consumer exercises his right of withdrawal from a distance sales contract, the supplier is not allowed to issue a coupon with the value of the returned goods instead of refunding the full amount that the consumer has paid to purchase the goods. The issuance of such a coupon (instead of refunding the payment) is contrary to the obligations of the supplier further to the exercise of the right of withdrawal by the consumer.
The plaintiff lodged his complaint before the Ombudsman of the Consumer claiming that although he has exercised on time his right of withdrawal from the distance contract and has returned the products on time, the defendant denied to refund him/her; instead the supplier has issued a coupon with the value of the returned goods. The consumer did not accept the issuance of the coupon instead of the refund of money paid for the goods.
The court held that the law lays down that in case that a consumer withdraws from a distance contract, the supplier is obliged to refund all payments received by the consumer, including the cost of delivery, using the same means of payment used for the initial transaction (unless the consumer has expressly agreed otherwise). In this context it was decided that the issuance of a coupon with the value of the returned goods, apart from the fact that it was not accepted by the consumer, it does not consist a lawful refund of payment made. To the contrary, this way consumer’s money is withheld for a future purchase. So it violates the obligations that the supplier has in relation to the refund of his/her money after the exercise of the right of withdrawal by the consumer.
Does the issuance of a coupon with the value of the returned goods by a supplier consist a lawful refund of payment when a consumer exercises his/her right of withdrawal from a distance sales contract?
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The court recommended to the defendant to accept consumer’s withdrawal from the contract and to return to the consumer all the expenses he/she has made in order to purchase the products he/she has returned. It also called the defendant to notify the Ombudsman in writing whether he/she accepts the present written recommendation (plaintiff’s request was granted).