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The Supreme Court on consumer protection rules: the consumer can terminate the contract if the lack of conformity has been fulfilled with inadequate timing or causing significant inconvenience to the consumer

CMS Newsletter

A few months after the Ruling no. 10453/2020, in which it has been stated the consumer right to terminate the contract even in those cases in which the lack of conformity is "slight entity", the Supreme Court, with Order no. 22146/2020 of last October 14th, 2020, once again focuses on the consumer protection remedies provided by Art.130 of Legislative Decree 206/2005.

In particular, the case in question originates from the filing of a termination action made by a consumer, who was disappointed with the timing with which the product purchased was repaired.

The Supreme Court of Cassation stated that the consumer, in case of lack of conformity of the product purchased, can always take legal action in order to obtain the termination of the contract, when the repair or replacement of the defective products have been done within an inadequate period of time or when they have caused significant inconvenience to the consumer. And this, regardless of whether the repair or replacement of the goods have been successful or not.

It follows that the seller is required to ensure the repair or replacement of the product not only without any charge for the consumer, but also within a reasonable period of time and without causing significant inconvenience to the consumer.
Otherwise, the seller will have to give back to the consumer the price paid, and this regardless of the circumstance (which is irrelevant) that the lack of conformity is slight or serious, or that the repair (or replacement) has actually eliminated the defect.

Authors

Picture of Emilio Battaglia
Emilio Battaglia
Partner
Rome