Case law

  • Case Details
    • National ID: link
    • Member State: Germany
    • Common Name:link
    • Decision type: Supreme court decision
    • Decision date: 16/03/2016
    • Court: Federal Court of Justice
    • Subject:
    • Plaintiff: Unknown
    • Defendant: Unknown
    • Keywords: distance contracting, right of withdrawal
  • Directive Articles
    Consumer Rights Directive, Chapter 3, Article 11 Consumer Rights Directive, Chapter 3, Article 11, 1.
  • Headnote
    (1) Whether and for what reasons a consumerasserts its right to revoke in a distance contract is left up to the consumer’s free will.

    (2) Exclusion of a consumer's right of revocation due to abuse of law (§ BGB § 242 BGB) can only be considered in exceptional circumstances with regard to the business's special need for protection, for instance in the case of fraudulent or malicious behavior by the consumer (confirmation and continuation of the Senate judgment of 25.11. 2009 - BGH reference number VIIIZR31808 VIII ZR 318/08 [= MMR 2010, MMR year 2010 page 174], paragraph MMR page 174 recital 17, MMR page 174 paragraph 20).
  • Facts
    On 14 January 2014, the plaintiff ordered two spring mattresses for the price of €417.10 (including delivery) via the website of the defendant, which promised a "lowest price guarantee". The mattresses were delivered on the 24th and 27th of January 2014 and paid for by the plaintiff. The plaintiff then discovered a better offer from another supplier (€ 192.06 per mattress plus 10 € for delivery) and asked the defendant to reimburse the difference in price. The defendant did not do this and no agreement was reached between the parties. The plaintiff then revoked the purchase contract via e-mail dated 2 February 2014 and returned the two mattresses. The defendant argued that the plaintiff abused the law when it revoked the contract to pressure the defendant to enforce platinfiff's claim for the "lowest price guarantee". The action for reimbursement of the purchase price of € 417.10 plus interest was successful in the lower courts.
  • Legal issue
    The court held that a consumer is not obliged to provide a reason for exercising the right of revocation and therefore cannot be penalized, whatever its motive.
  • Decision

    (1) May a consumer’s right of revocation be excluded or denied based upon the reason provided by the consumer for the revocation?

    (2) Under which circumstances may a consumer's right of revocation be excluded or denied?


    Full text: Full text

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  • Result
    The defendant’s appeal was rejected. The defendant must bear the costs of the auditing procedure.