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CCT decisions – defective vacuum cleaner

A consumer purchased a vacuum cleaner which after six months stopped working. The consumer reported the problem to the seller who took it in and checked it for any manufacturing defects.

When checked it turned out that the vacuum cleaner’s motor was burnt and the trader refused to provide a remedy claiming that the consumer had misused it. The consumer did not agree with the trader’s conclusion and since her claim for a remedy was rejected, she decided to lodge a complaint with the Office for Consumer Affairs within the MCCAA.

Despite the office’s intervention, the two parties did not manage to reach an amicable understanding. At this point the consumer was offered the possibility to take her claim to the Consumer Claims Tribunal.

When notified about the consumer’s claim against him, the seller submitted a written reply stating that when the vacuum cleaner was taken in for repairs and opened, the technicians found fine dust and concluded that this was what had caused the damage in the motor. During the Tribunal’s sitting, which the trader did not personally attend, the consumer stated that the vacuum cleaner was only used for domestic purposes and hence wasn’t misused.

Since the seller did not submit any evidence proving that the consumer has, in actual fact, misused the vacuum cleaner, and considering the fact that a vacuum cleaner should not stop working after just six months of use, the tribunal ruled in favour of the consumer. In its decision the tribunal ordered the trader to refund the consumer the cost of the vacuum cleaner, which amounted to €75.42.

The tribunal also ruled that each party should cover their own expenses in relation to the tribunal’s sittings.

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