Faulty Notebook - How often to Repair?

When your "one and only" is broken what's living worth? When your notebook has to "constantly" brought to repair, you will be surely doubting on the vendor's competency. Latest when you loose your trust, you will want a new one or your money back. But how many times can the vendor demand to repair and not exchange the broken notebook? Read what AG Munich said in its verdict of February 24, 2010 (re 233 C 30299/09).


Generally, the buyer has the right to either revoke the contract or demand repair (§437 BGB). However, before being able to return the gadget, you have to give the vendor the chance to repair this defect thing (§439 BGB). Only when the vendor has tried twice to fix it, will the buyer be entitled to demand his money back.

In the reported case, Susi bought a notebook but it did not work as it was supposed to work:

  • The sound system was too quiet and had ambient noises.
  • The battery power was too low.

The vendor asked Susi to perform the installed diagnosis and to later report the results. No sooner said than done. This however resulted in even more problems:

  • Internal speaker failed.
  • The Wi-Fi does not work.

And again the vendor request to start the diagnose program that the defects can be taken care of. That did it for Susi. She withdrew from the contract and wanted her money back. The vendor refused and sought legal recourse. The low court saw no merits in the case because the vendor was not even given a chance to repair. Civil Code requires the purchaser gives a time limit to fix it. This time limit is not required anymore when the repair is impossible, unacceptable or fails. Non of these exceptions have been fulfilled. Susi did not show that defects were impossible to repair. Even a multitude of defects can have only one reason. The court told Susi further that

  • it is acceptable that she hands in the notebook for repair or determination of the defect,
  • a possible data loss does speak against an attempt to repair.
  • When data is destroyed during repair, she will generally have an extra claim for damages.


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