You can claim compensation for the direct costs resulting from investigating a defect, including travel costs. If the company does not rectify the defect, you can claim compensation for the costs of having the defect rectified or the work redone by someone else. You must always have a receipt or other reliable information on the costs. No compensation is provided for distress, mental suffering or loss of free time.
The consumer has the right to compensation for any losses caused by a delay or defect in a service. No compensation is provided for distress or mental suffering, however.
To receive compensation, you must have proof of your losses. You must have receipts or other reliable information on your costs.
You and the vendor must make an effort to minimise the losses and the costs caused by them. For example, if the consumer could have reduced the costs caused by the delay or defect by acting differently, they can only get compensation for the costs that they would have had anyway.
Losses to be compensated
You can claim compensation for direct and indirect losses as well as personal injuries or damage to property caused by a material used in the service.
1. Direct losses
Direct losses include reasonable travel, postage, telephone and other costs resulting from investigating a delay or defect (including a goods inspector’s report). Repair costs are also direct losses if, for a justified reason, the defect had to be repaired by someone else than the vendor, or the vendor refused to repair it.
If standard compensation for a delay is mentioned in the terms and conditions of the sale contract, the consumer can claim the agreed standard compensation from the company in situations set out in the contract. If the object of the sale was building materials, for example kitchen cabinets, you should check what the contract says about standard compensation in case of delayed installation. If the consumer’s costs resulting from a delay in a service exceed the standard compensation set down in the contract, the consumer may claim compensation based on the actual costs.
2. Indirect losses
If the company acts negligently and reprehensibly, it is also liable to pay compensation for indirect losses. Negligence may include failing to fulfil obligations, incompetence, indifference or carelessness. Indirect losses include:
- a loss related to another contract concluded by the consumer.For example, the vendor has not delivered the goods to be installed in time and the consumer has to pay needlessly for an installer they have asked to visit their home.
- loss of income.For example, the consumer has had to take time off work to investigate a defect or have it repaired, and their pay has been deducted for the time of this absence.
- significant loss of use or other inconvenience.For example, you can claim compensation for loss of use when renovations are delayed and you cannot live in your flat. However, you cannot claim compensation for minor inconvenience.
3. Material damage (damage caused to property)
The consumer may claim compensation for damage caused by a service.
The service provider is liable for material damage caused by materials used in performing the work (spare parts, accessories, etc.) it the material causing the damage and the damaged property are directly connected by use.
For example, the company that repaired a product may be liable for damage caused by defective parts or materials used in the repair.