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Old 02.05.2011, 21:57
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Swiss Small Claims Court

Hi all,
I have a challenge. I bought a TV online and paid by bank transfer. Yet the TV never came and the seller does not want to refund the amount and keeps insisting it should come tomorrow. He also offered a more expensive TV. Is there the equivalent of Small Claims court in Switzerland that get this company to refund the money?
Thanks for your support.
Matt
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Old 02.05.2011, 22:04
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Re: Swiss Small Claims Court

sorry, I can not offer help on your question.
Can you share a name of the company so that we do not get in the same trouble.
Best of luck.
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Old 02.05.2011, 23:24
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Re: Swiss Small Claims Court

A couple of things are not clear. First, when was the TV supposed to be delivered? Or, in other words, how long have you been waiting for the delivery? Second, do you still want the TV if it is delivered soon?

In order to do everything correctly, you should first write a registered letter detailing what happened and giving a deadline for the delivery of the TV. This depends a bit on how long you have been waiting already but a week should suffice (not less). State that if you have not received the TV you ordered by the deadline you will withdraw from the contract.

When the deadline comes and you do not have the TV, write another registered letter stating that you are withdrawing from the contract and give another deadline (7-10 days) for refunding the money. Give the bank details for the refund.

When that deadline rolls around and you don't have the money, inform him that you will file a "poursuite" and then go to the office de poursuites et des faillites (http://ge.ch/opf/) and fill out a réquisition de poursuite (a debt collection request). The form is also available online: http://ge.ch/opf/publications-et-formulaires. A "commandement de payer" (payment order) will then be sent to the guy who owes you the money. He can then pay or "oppose" (opposition) it. If he fights it, you have everything you need to get around his "opposition", that is, the original contract, the letter with the deadline for delivery and the letter withdrawing and demanding the refund. With this evidence, the judge will lift the "opposition" and enable you to continue the debt collection process. Here is an overview of the process (in French): http://ge.ch/opf/schema.

The 2 letters and the threat of a "poursuite" is usually enough to get your money back. If not, you have everything to prove your case and he will end up also having to pay the costs for the "poursuite" as well as any court costs.

Good luck.
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Old 02.05.2011, 23:58
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Re: Swiss Small Claims Court

Thanks Ziger. Let me give you the details:

10/03 TV Ordered
11/03 Confirmation from vendor money received and TV will be shipped
14/03 TV not received, email written to inquire
15/03 Receive message that I should have received today, but for sure will come tomorrow
18/03 TV still not received. Ask what has happened. Response is that the "supplier" has sent the TV and they will inquire
22/03 Still inquiring (how can they loose a 100 pound TV!?), but no worries, by later in the day I am receiving a definite answer
23/03 I request for the order to be cancelled, because clearly they don't have the TV they sold me.
24/03 Receive a message that the inquiry is taking too long, so they will send a new TV
that will arrive no later than the 27th. They do not even react to my message about cancellation
29/03 They admit that they don't have the TV in stock, and want to sell me a more expensive model
01/04 I write again that I would like to cancel the contract as I will buy one locally. They respond saying why I don't like the new TV?
01/04 I reply that I am not interested doing business with a company who is lying and sold me a TV that they cannot deliver.
27/04 I write that I did not receive the money back (and of course no TV), and indicate that I will start a legal procedure
27/04 They respond that according to their info the TV has been delivered 2 weeks ago. They will start another inquiry. They send another email that they checked and I will get the TV on friday.

That is the whole story. The online retailer is Azone and they are based in Adliswil/ZH. Should I file the claim in that Kanton? Should I still send a registered letter as all the communication has been done via email?
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Old 03.05.2011, 00:28
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Re: Swiss Small Claims Court

OK, so it is not quite 2 months and Easter came in between. They have promised delivery on Friday. I would send a registered letter (tomorrow) with some of the missed deadlines etc and state clearly that if the TV is not delivered on Friday you will withdraw from the contract and expect a full refund. Then if it is not delivered on Friday, send the second letter with a deadline for the refund.

Why the whole thing with the letters? They serve as evidence as the company cannot say they never received it or didn't know. The debt collection process can be stopped by a "Rechtsvorschlag" or "opposition", which means basically that the other party says I don't owe anyone anything. To get around this quickly, you need evidence of the contract and evidence that you did everything to honor your side of the contract and that you followed the law in withdrawing from the contract. That means giving the other party a reasonable deadline for fulfilling their obligations. What "reasonable" is depends on the contract but in such sales contracts a week is generally sufficient. Given the back and forth documented in the emails, it may be enough to say Friday or that's it. This must be stated clearly, hence the registered mail. Then, the second with a "reasonable" deadline to return the money. Only after this point is it worth filing a "Betreibung", which, yes, would have to be filed where the company is located. Here is the office in Adliswil: http://www.adliswil.ch/xml_1/interne...n/d48/f162.cfm.

When I googled Azone, I didn't come across a lot of chatter that suggests an iffy company, in which case the formal registered letters and the threat of a Betreibung will probably be enough to get your money back.
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Old 03.05.2011, 02:34
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Re: Swiss Small Claims Court

It was last Friday, so they missed their deadline again. I will send a registered letter tomorrow.
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Old 06.05.2011, 13:30
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Re: Swiss Small Claims Court

Well well, it took only one registered letter for them to deliver the goods
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