Q: A month ago I needed to replace my old air-conditioner. I found a supplier and agreed on an installation date which unfortunately was twice missed by the installers. After I threatened to cancel the order and claim back the deposit paid the supplier finally installed the new air-conditioner.

Now, a month later, the seller informed me that his installers made a mistake and installed the wrong air conditioner. Apparently, the one installed at my house is a more expensive model. The seller told me I need to pay the difference in price.

The air conditioner has now been used, so I don’t think the supplier wants to replace it with the model I originally ordered.

I feel it is not fair that I am obliged to pay the difference in price when it was not my fault that the wrong model was installed.

What are my rights in this situation?

A: The first thing you need to verify is whether it is true that the air conditioner installed at your house is not the model you ordered. When you ordered the air conditioner, the seller must have given you information on the type of model quoted. Once you confirm that the model installed is not the one you ordered, since the air conditioner installed is more expensive than the one you paid for, the seller has the right to change the model installed in your home with the model you actually paid for. This, however, should not be done at any cost or inconvenience to you.

What the seller cannot do is oblige you to pay the difference in price if they decide not to change the wrongly installed air conditioner.

Should the seller insist you pay more money for the air conditioner, you may then lodge a complaint with the Office for Consumer Affairs.

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,
VLT 1101

Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 3pm.

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