Bankruptcies

If you have ordered a product from a store which was later declared bankrupt, and you paid in advance

If you ordered a product from a store which was later declared bankrupt, and you paid in advance, your chances of getting your money back depend on how you paid for your purchase.

  • If you paid with a credit card, you can claim your money back from the credit card company. The same applies to other providers of credit for the purchase of a product. You may also be able to request a refund on debit card payments if your bank's terms and conditions provide for this.

  • If you used an online bank or some other advance payment method to pay for an e-commerce order and the product you paid for was not set aside for you, for example in the store warehouse, you need to secure you claim during the bankruptcy proceedings. For this purpose, contact the bankruptcy trustee who is drawing up the estate inventory. When this has been completed, a court of law will decide whether the bankruptcy proceedings will be suspended due to lack of funds, or whether they will be continued. If the proceedings will be continued, a deadline for filing a claim will be set by which consumers must act to secure their claim. Claims must be made to the bankruptcy trustee by submitting a written notice of a claim specifying the receivables and grounds thereof.

The Office of Bankruptcy Ombudsman

Complaining about a service defect if the service provider has gone bankrupt

Complaints concerning a service defect can always be filed, not only with the service provider, but also with a subcontractor used by the service provider to perform the actual service. For instance, in the case of a renovation project, if the main contractor has gone bankrupt and there is a defect in the work done by the subcontractor, the consumer is entitled to file a claim directly with the subcontractor.

The consumer's primary course of action consists of demanding that the defective work be rectified or the service repeated. If rectifying the defect or repeating the service is not possible, the consumer is entitled to claim a price discount. If the defect is not considered minor, or if other forms of compensation do not apply, the consumer may demand that the transaction be cancelled.

Liability for defects borne by subcontractors is governed by the same principles as the primary service provider's liability, but is not quite as extensive as such liability.

  •  If the defect is due to a reason independent of the subcontractor which occurred after the service performance was handed over to the service provider, the subcontractor is not liable.
  •  If the defect is compensated for by refunding the sales price or granting a discount, the basis of the compensation is the price at which the subcontractor sold the service performance to the service provider, not the price paid by the consumer. Therefore, in the event of cancellation of the transaction, the consumer cannot demand that the subcontractor refund the price in full.

Any claim concerning defects must be filed with the subcontractor within a reasonable time of the consumer noticing the defect, or in the time during which the consumer should have noticed the defect. Claims concerning defects must be filed no later than two months after the defect was noticed.
Defects and delays

Complaining about a defective product if the seller has gone bankrupt

Complaints concerning a defective product can always be filed not only with the seller, but also with the manufacturer, importer or any other link in the supply chain. Complaints and claims for compensation can be filed even if the product did not come with a warranty, or if the warranty period has expired.

  • When the warranty granted by the manufacturer or importer is still valid, compensation for defective products is determined on the basis of the warranty terms.
  •  When the product does not come with a warranty or the warranty period has expired, the manufacturer or importer is liable for product defects e.g. if the product's service life, under normal use, is shorter than that which can be reasonably expected of products of similar quality and price. In such a case, the primary forms of compensation consist of rectifying the defect or exchanging the product for a non-defective one. If the defect cannot be rectified or the product cannot be exchanged, the consumer may request a discount on the price or cancellation of the purchase.

Liability for defects borne by businesses representing earlier links in the supply chain is governed by the same principles as seller's liability, but is not quite as extensive.

  • If the defect is due to a reason independent of the manufacturer or importer after the product was transferred to the seller, the manufacturer and importer are not liable.
  • If the defect is compensated for by refunding the sales price or granting a discount, the basis of the compensation is the price at which the manufacturer or importer sold the product to the retailer, not the sales price paid by the consumer. In the event of the cancellation of the transaction, the consumer cannot therefore demand that the manufacturer or importer refund the sales price in full.

Claims concerning defects must be filed within a reasonable time of the consumer noticing the defect or the time at which he or she should have done so. Claims concerning defects must be filed no later than two months after the defect was noticed.
Defects and delays

Claiming compensation if a travel agency has gone bankrupt

In the case of a package holiday or tour bought and paid for in advance by a consumer, the consumer can claim compensation from the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority. For instructions on how to do this, please visit the Authority's website 'Tour operator's bankruptcy'.


Keywords: Bankruptcy
Updated 29.10.2014 Print