If a device or service has a defect entitling the customer to compensation, the following principles of the Consumer Protection Act apply:
Defective or faulty goods: If it is impossible to either repair or replace the goods, the company may provide compensation in the form of a discount. A discount may come into question when:
- the item is usable in its defective state but its value can be considered to have decreased.
- the defect is small and its significance may be minor for the buyer (e.g. a surface defect).
- repairing the defect would cause unreasonable costs in relation to the value of the item (e.g. it would make the item worth more than the purchase price).
The discount must correspond in value to the defect. Often the magnitude of the discount must be calculated taking into account the impact of the defect on the item’s use or replacement value or its appearance (e.g. by comparing the actual value of the defective item to that of a faultless one). If the consumer has had to have the item repaired independently, then the magnitude of the discount is the cost of the repairs.
Defect in a service: If the service is impossible to repair or repeat, or the company does not rectify the defect within a reasonable time, the consumer has the right to demand a discount.
A discount may come into question when:
- the defect in question is minor for the buyer with regard to the whole, for instance a surface defect.
- repairing the defect would cause unreasonable costs in relation to the value of the service.
The discount must correspond in value to the defect. For example, the discount may correspond to the repair costs or the decrease in the value of the service compared to general price levels.
Note the following exceptions: In the case of some product groups, compensation for defects is governed by special legislation that takes account of the characteristics of the field in question. In other words, it is worth noting that the rules concerning price reductions and other compensation for example for defective telephone and internet subscriptions, electricity supply, dwellings, flights or package holidays, among other products and services, are somewhat different to the general principles.
Defects and delays