• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Fake fancy phone buyer set for compensation

The Local · 28 Mar 2012, 17:15

Published: 28 Mar 2012 17:15 GMT+02:00

The seller offered the fake Vertu phone on the online sales platform at a starting price of €1 with the following description:

"Hello to all Vertu lovers – you can bid for a nearly new mobile phone (was only unpacked to try it out). Has a few light marks of being used (which I mention for the sake of honesty). I bought 2 and have chosen the yellow golden one ... You also get a case, headphones and spare battery. Private sale, so no returns. Have fun bidding."

The successful bidder took the seller to court afterwards because it was not an original Vertu, and demanded €23,000 in damages – his estimation of the difference to for a real Vertu.

A court in Saarbrücken, western Germany, threw his demand, saying the man should have realised from the auction's low starting price that the phone was not the genuine article.

But Germany's Federal Court of Justice (BGH) overturned the ruling. "The starting price has no bearing on the value of the offer," Judge Wolfgang Ball said in a ruling released on Wednesday. "A low starting price lowers the cost of offering and arouses interest."

The Saarbrücken court now has to reconsider its verdict and decide whether the circumstances of the sale showed that the buyer believed he had bought an original Vertu.

Genuine Vertu mobile phones are handmade in the UK, using various precious materials including gold, platinum, diamonds and sapphires – the standard models range in price from €4,000 to €80,000.

Story continues below…

The Local/DPA/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

18:27 March 28, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Sounds like fraud and the seller is lucky not to land in jail.
22:38 March 28, 2012 by wood artist
I think the higher court got this right. The ebay auction could have had a low starting point, but a significant reserve, meaning it wouldn't sell cheap. In addition, if the seller listed it as genuine, ebay will have some things to say about the deal, and the seller could be charged, depending upon where he/she lives.

wa
07:05 March 29, 2012 by J4K2
That is a very ugly phone! I wouldnt pay €1 for it!
08:48 March 29, 2012 by lucksi
I think the first judge, who threw the case out, has never actually been on ebay. Sooo many expensive things start at 1€
18:17 March 29, 2012 by Ziggy2k12
Got to go with the first judgement on this. Other than the greeting nothing in the bid posting says it is a Vertu just a mobile phone.
Today's headlines
Merkel party leader admits sexism is a problem
Jenna Behrends complained that a member of CDU's Berlin government had called her a "big sweet mouse" in front of a large group. Photo: Sophia Kembowski/dpa

A leader of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party admitted Sunday that it has a problem with sexism in its ranks.

Ethiopia's Bekele nears record as wins Berlin marathon
Participants in the Berlin marathon take to the streets on Sunday. Photo:Paul Zinken/dpa

Kenenisa Bekele narrowly missed out on the world record on Sunday as the Ethiopian won the Berlin marathon ahead of former winner Wilson Kipsang.

Europe needs deals to send migrants home: Merkel
Angela Merkal poses with Bulgaria's Prime minister Boyko Borissov (L) and Austrian chancellor Christian Kern (R) in Vienna. Photo: Joe Klamar/AFP

Europe needs to secure more deals to send rejected migrants home, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has told counterparts in Vienna.

Germany sees 'turning point' in birth rate decline
Children at a a kindergarten in Swabia. Photo: Nikolaus Lenau/Flickr

Is Germany's three-decade decline in birth rate now over?

Trump protesters rebuild and tear down 'Berlin Wall'
The 'Stop Trump' protest at the Brandenburg Gate. Photo: DPA.

US expats gathered at the Berlin's iconic Brandenburg Gate on Friday "rebuild" the Berlin Wall and protest US presidential candidate Donald Trump's own proposed wall-building.

Accusation of sexism within Merkel's party creates uproar
Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen and Chancellor Angela Merkel, two leading women in the CDU party. Photo: DPA.

A young politician from the ranks of Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has caused a storm by suggesting that the party is institutionally sexist.

EasyJet 'in talks to buy German airline' to duck Brexit
Photo: DPA

EasyJet is in talks to acquire TUIfly, a board member of the German carrier said Friday, as the British no-frills airline looks for ways to keep flying freely within the EU after Britain quits the bloc.

Symbols of migrant plight to go on show in Bonn museum
Photo: DPA

A people smugglers' car, a dinghy and a life jacket are among items related to Europe's migration crisis due to go on display at a German museum.

Brexit
Green party demand 'quick and easy' citizenship for Brits
Photo: DPA

The Green party has called for Brits living in Germany to be offered a painless path to obtaining dual citizenship as to "reassure them over the future".

Berlin the new London? 10m2 flat to rent for €750 a month
Photo: Immonet.de.

This shoebox apartment in the gentrified Bergmann-Kiez neighbourhood may be a sign that the tides are turning for Berlin’s comparatively cheap housing market.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
5,643
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd