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Case Details

Case Details
National ID Case No A420408112
Dalībvalsts Latvija
Common Name link
Decision type Court decision, first degree
Decision date 23/04/2013
Tiesa Administratīvā rajona tiesa (Rīga)
Temats
Prasītājs S.G.
Atbildētājs Consumer Rights Protection Centre & Unknown
Atslēgvārdi guarantee, reasonable time, repair, replacement, right of cancellation

Consumer Sales and Guarantees Directive, Article 1, 2., (f) Consumer Sales and Guarantees Directive, Article 3, 2. Consumer Sales and Guarantees Directive, Article 3, 5., -

(1) The consumer may request the rescinding of the contract and the refund of the price paid for the product after requesting the repair of the product only if the repair has not been completed within a reasonable time and without significant inconvenience to the consumer.
(2) The replacement of a part of a product is considered a repair of this product if in the result the product conforms to the contract.
(3) Replacement of a part of a product does not constitute the replacement of the whole product, even if the substitute part is a different, newer model of the original.
(4) Repair is completed in reasonable time if the actions taken for the repair are necessary and no unjustified delays are made.
(5) Repair has not created a significant inconvenience if the consumer had an equivalent product available for use during the repair.
The plaintiff purchased a cellular phone (also - “product”). The product turned out to be defected, thus the plaintiff requested the repair. During the repair, the unknown defendant (seller) informed the plaintiff that the repair will not be possible within a reasonable period of time, unless a part of the product is replaced by a newer substitute part. The plaintiff did not agree to such conditions of repair and claimed a full refund of the price paid for the product. After the unknown defendant refused, the plaintiff submitted a complaint to the defendant (Customer Rights Protection Centre), requesting to acknowledge the violation of consumer’s rights and the refund. After the defendant (Customer Rights Protection Centre) refused the plaintiff’s claim, the plaintiff submitted the same claim to the court.
(1) Under what conditions may the consumer request the rescinding of the contract and the refund of the price paid for the product after having requested the repair of the product?
(2) Is the replacement of a part of a product considered a repair of this product?
(3) Does the replacement of a part of a product constitute the replacement of the whole product?
(4) When is the repair considered to be completed in reasonable time?
(5) When the repair is considered not having created a significant inconvenience to the consumer?
(1) The court stated that the consumer must realize that repair of a product requires time; however, it can also expect that the repair will be complete within reasonable time and without creating a significant inconvenience to the consumer. If these expectations are not fulfilled, the consumer has no alternatives but to require the replacement of the product or to have the contract rescinded and the price paid for the product refunded.
(2) The court concluded that, contrary to the plaintiff’s arguments, the replacement of a part of a product could be considered a repair of this product, if as the result of the replacement the product is in conformity with the contract of sale.
(3) Next, the court concluded that, contrary to the plaintiff’s view, the replacement of a part of a product does not constitute a replacement of the product, even if the substitute part is a different, newer model of the original. The decisive aspect was whether in result the product conforms to the contract of sale.
(4) Furthermore, the court considered the 31 days’ time period for the repair of a cellular phone reasonable, because the actions taken within repair were necessary, and no unjustified delays could be established on behalf of the unknown defendant (seller), especially because the repair required time for testing and purchasing a substitute part of the product.
(5) Finally, the court did not find that the repair had created a significant inconvenience for the plaintiff, because it had another cellular phone available during the repair.
Therefore, the court found that the plaintiff had no basis for claiming the refund of the price paid for the product in addition to claiming the repair.
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The plaintiff’s claims to acknowledge the violation of his consumer rights and to refund the price paid for the product were dismissed.