The plaintiff demanded that the defendant shall be forbidden on pain of a penalty payment to use a contractual term, concerning telephone subscriptions concluded with consumers, under which an additional payment will be charged for a paper invoice. The delivery of the invoice is an essential part of a contractual relation and it is one of the underlying obligations of the seller. In this case, there is no reason to collect a separate invoice payment. A telephone subscription is, by its nature, a consumer staple. In relation to consumer staples, consumers groups that are in a weaker position by not having other means for receiving invoices available for them are not allowed to be set in a worse position than other consumer groups having such other means available. Therefore, the provision should be considered unreasonable.
The defendant demanded that the application should be dismissed. It provided several methods of invoicing for its customers. The methods of electrical invoicing were free of charge but they charged 1.90 Euro for the paper invoice, because it caused additional costs for the company. The electrical invoicing saves nature, reduces costs and forwards the development of the information society. The electrical delivery of the invoice is a generally used method related to telephone subscriptions.
The Market Court forbade the defendant on pain of a fine to charge the payment of 1.90 Euro or higher for an invoice, but otherwise dismissed the plaintiff’s application. The provision must be considered based on its general effect. It must be taken into consideration that the law of obligations includes the principle under which the creditor bears the costs caused by the demand for the payment. In comparison with the actual costs, 1.90 Euro is an oversized payment.
Both parties appealed to the Supreme Court.