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Consumer Claims Tribunal decision – damaged suitcase

A consumer purchased a travelling bag and its wheels broke off. The seller rejected the consumer’s claim that the bag was damaged, arguing that the damage to the wheels was caused by mishandling and not because the suitcase was defective. The consumer has in fact admitted that one of the wheels broke during a trip.

The tribunal considered that the consumer presented no evidence that the suitcase was defective when purchased and also that the bag’s wheel got damaged during a trip.

The tribunal told the consumer that he should have made a claim against who might have mishandled his suitcase, especially since he had no proof that the wheel broke because it was defective.

The consumer also complained about the fact that the seller had the suitcase in his possession to repair it and has not yet returned it. With regard to this, the tribunal considered that since the seller accepted to repair the suitcase, the repair should not have taken months and the least the seller could do was to keep the consumer informed about the repairs and the time needed to complete them.

After taking into consideration the consumer’s and trader’s statements during the sitting, and also the provisions of the Consumer Affairs Act, the Tribunal rejected the consumer’s claim of compensation for the defective suitcase as the consumer failed to prove that the bag had a latent defect.

As to the delayed repair, the arbiter ordered the trader to pay the consumer €30 as compensation for the length of time taken by the seller to carry out the repair.

The arbiter also ruled that each party should bear its own expenses of the tribunal’s proceedings.

Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority
Office for Consumer Affairs
Mizzi House,
National Road,
Blata l-Bajda
HMR 9010

Freephone: 8007 4400
Tel: 2395 2000
Enquiries: info@mccaa.org.mt
Consumer complaints: fair.trading@mccaa.org.mt
Website: www.mccaa.org.mt

MCCAA office hours for the public:
Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 12.30pm

European Consumer Centre Malta
(For complaints against traders in other EU states)

47A, South Street,
Valletta.
VLT 1101

Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 3pm.

Tel: 2122 1901
E-mail: ecc.malta@gov.mt

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