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Case Details

Case Details
National ID SK/0747/99/2015
Member State Slovakia
Common Name link
Decision type Administrative decision in appeal
Decision date 10/03/2016
Court Central Inspectorate of the Slovak Trade Inspection in Bratislava
Subject
Plaintiff N/A
Defendant Mgr. Jozef Mindala -FitForm.sk
Keywords cancellation of contract, consumer, consumer rights, contract law, packaging, seller, terms & conditions, unfair terms, withdrawal period

Consumer Rights Directive, link

(1) The consumer cannot be obliged to deliver the goods back to the seller in order to be entitled to withdraw from the distance contract.

(2) A consumer is entitled to try out the goods in order to assess them, without losing its right of withdrawal from the contract. The consumer is also not obliged to keep the original packaging of the product. ‎

(3) The seller is obliged to return back all payments received from the consumer in the period of 14 days from the delivery of the notice of withdrawal from the contract.
Based on the decision of the first instance administrative body, the defendant was imposed with a fine amounting to EUR 1,000 as multiple breaches of the respective applicable law in particular Section 4 (2) (b), Section 4 (2) (a), Section 4 (2) (c) and Section 3 (1) of Act No. 250/2007 Coll. on consumer protection, as amended, had been discovered by the means of investigation carried out in the defendant's e-shop by the inspectors. The mentioned breaches were considered as unfair terms in consumer contracts as they created unbalance in the rights and obligations of the contractual parties and moreover they imposed obligations without any legal grounds towards the consumers.

The e-shop of the defendant included in its terms and conditions a statement that after complying with all the obligations of the buyer, the seller will accept and take back the goods and will return the price paid for the goods to the buyer in the period of 15 days from the consumers' withdrawal. The first instance administrative body declared such condition to be in contrary with Section 9 of Act No. 102/2014 Coll. on the protection of consumers in sale of goods or provision of services under distance contracts or contracts executed outside the business premises of the seller, as amended, (implemented from Article 13 of the Directive 2011/83/EU), which states that the seller is obliged to return all the payments to the buyer without undue delay and at the latest in the period of 14 days from the consumers´ withdrawal.


The obligation to first send goods back to the trader, as a condition to withdraw from the contract, represents an obligation imposed on the consumer without legal basis. Act No. 102/2014 Coll. stipulates that the consumer is obliged to send the purchased goods back to the seller or hand the purchased goods back to the seller or to the person authorised by the seller, within a period of 14 days from the day of withdrawal from the contract. Furthermore, the 14 days period is deemed to be satisfied if the consumer hands over the purchased goods for transportation on the last day of the period. The consumer is not obliged to deliver the goods together with the withdrawal from the distance contract.

The Central Inspectorate rejected the appeal of the defendant and confirmed the decision of the first instance administrative body in the entire extent.

The decision of the first instance administrative body was confirmed by the Central Inspectorate.
(1) Is a consumer entitled to withdraw from the distance contract only when the goods are delivered back to the seller?

(2) When withdrawing from a distance contract, is a consumer obliged to return the purchased goods unused to the seller?

(3) Is a seller obliged to return the purchase price to the consumer in the period of 15 days from the consumers' withdrawal from a contract?
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The decision of the first instance administrative body on imposing a fine amounting to EUR 1,000 was confirmed by the Central Inspectorate.