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Case Details

Case Details
National ID KUV/3853/41/2012
Member State Finland
Common Name Kuluttaja-asiamiehen ratkaisu
Decision type Other
Decision date 08/03/2013
Court Consumer Ombudsman
Subject
Plaintiff Consumer Ombudsman
Defendant Samsung Electronics Nordic, Gigantti Oy Ab (Ltd)
Keywords guarantee, telephone, terms and conditions, unfair terms

Consumer Sales and Guarantees Directive, link Consumer Sales and Guarantees Directive, Article 6 , 2., -

A trader cannot limit its liability for defects in the terms of guarantee where the properties of the consumer goods have been marketed as free some such defects.
Samsung Galaxy Xcover mobile phones were marketed as weatherproof. However, liability for moisture damages was limited in the guarantee coverage.
According to the chapter 5 section 15 a subsection 3 of the Consumer Protection Act, the guarantee shall not limit the liability provided for in the Act. The Supreme Court has stated in its judgement KKO 2004:123 that conditions which are against the compelling provisions of chapter 5 of the Consumer Protection Act can be found unreasonable for the consumer within the meaning of chapter 3 section 1 of the Consumer Protection Act. Ambiguous guarantee terms are likewise unreasonable.

The Consumer Ombudsman considered the defendants liable for defects in the goods regardless of the limitation in its terms of guarantee. The terms of the guarantee were inconsistent with information provided in the marketing of the goods. Furthermore, the terms of the guarantee did not mention that the guarantee limits the legal rights of the consumer. The Consumer Ombudsman found that the guarantee clause limiting the liability from moisture damage was unreasonable to consumers.

Is a trader bound by product information provided in marketing when applying the terms of guarantee of the trader?
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The Consumer Ombudsman found that the warranty clause limiting the moisture defects is unreasonable to the consumer. Although the defendants had reported that they did not invoke the warranty clause in practice and had complied with a milder practice towards consumers, the unreasonableness of the warranty clause was not removed by this fact because the defendants had not informed consumers about the practice. The defendants changed the terms of guarantee on their own initiative.