Consumers also have the right to demand compensation for financial losses caused by the delay. They are not entitled to compensation for trouble and upset, emotional distress or loss of leisure time.
Both the consumer and the vendor must act to ensure that the costs caused by the damage are limited as much as possible. To receive compensation, the claimant must present proof of the damage. This entails a receipt or another reliable report of the costs incurred.
The vendor is not liable for compensation if the delay is due to force majeure beyond its control (e.g. a strike), which it was not possible to take into account at the time of sale and whose consequences were unavoidable for the vendor. However, reference to a delay caused by the supplier of the goods does not relieve the vendor of liability.
Compensation of direct damages
The consumer always has the right to be compensated for costs related to handling the matter related to a delay, such as travel and telephone costs.
If the terms and conditions related to the sale specify a standard compensation rate, the consumer may demand payment of the standard rate in the situations mentioned in the terms. For example, in the case of purchases of construction materials such as kitchen furniture, consumers are advised to check the terms and conditions applying to standard compensation in relation to delays.
If the costs incurred by a consumer due to a delay exceed the standard compensation specified in the terms, the consumer is entitled to request compensation according to actual costs.
Compensation of indirect damages
Compensation for indirect damages may be claimed when the damages were caused by a company’s negligence, for instance the vendor’s incompetence or imprudence. Compensation for indirect damages may be claimed, for example, when:
- a delay causes a loss of income (for example if a consumer has been obliged to miss work due to the delay and their salary has been withheld for this period).
- a delay causes the buyer damages related to a different contractual relationship (for example if kitchen cabinets are not delivered on time and the consumer has obtained a person to install them who comes in vain; in this case there would be a claim for covering the installer’s pay).