A private individual not party to the legal proceedings purchased a mobile phone from the plaintiff, but since the phone was not charging, he returned it to the plaintiff on the same day, and demanded its replacement. However, the plaintiff informed the consumer that after examining the phone, he had found out that it is damaged, thus he may only repair, but not replace it.
The consumer filed a complaint with the local consumer protection authority, pursuant to which the local consumer protection authority required the plaintiff to comply with the consumer's replacement claim, and imposed a monetary fine on the plaintiff. The local consumer protection authority stated that pursuant to § 7. of Government Decree No. 151/2003. (IX. 22.), if the consumer returns the goods subject to statutory commercial guarantee within 3 working days from purchase due to malfunction, the business party may not examine whether the replacement claim is justified, but must immediately replace the goods.
The plaintiff appealed the decision, but the defendant upheld it. Then the plaintiff contested the decision of the defendant before court, and claimed that he is only obliged to fulfil replacement claims in the event of lack of conformity at the time of performance. However, he provided the consumer with a fully functioning device at the time of performance, but the consumer later damaged the product, which eventually led to its malfunction. Thus, the product was in conformity with the contract at the time of performance, therefore the consumer may not demand the replacement thereof.
The first instance court rejected the plaintiff's claims, stating that in the event referred to in the legal provision cited above, the plaintiff may not examine the cause of the defect, but must replace the goods immediately. The plaintiff may only examine such cause after he complied with the consumer's claims, and if it turns out that the defect did not originate from lack of conformity, and that the consumer's claims were not justified, he may claim damages from the consumer pursuant to the rules of general civil law.
The plaintiff demanded the Curia's (Supreme Court) revision of the court decision, claiming that the first instance court misinterpreted the cited legal provision. The Curia rejected the plaintiff's claims, and upheld the decision - including its reasoning - of the first instance court.