Control of Price Related Terms in Standard Form Contract in Argentina
Under Argentine current Civil and Commercial Code, as enacted and in effect since August 1 2015, the price in consumer relations cannot be contested by Consumers. The Code merely confirmed such principle established that under former specific consumer legislation ratified by the Code, the consumer right is to return the unused product within 10 days and get his money back. The research question proposed by the Academy is whether under Argentine law contract terms that are ancillary or connected to the price of the product or service imposed to consumers by suppliers have an aggregate effect of increasing the “quoted” price for consumers and therefore may be legally challenged.
The review of jurisprudence shows that argentine cases reject challenges to the amount of the price itself and do not consider those terms as accessories. There is however a Court case at the Supreme Court level that considered objectionable the amount of a bank commission versus the rate of interest paid by the bank to his client. The rate was indeed fixed by the bank and did have the prior authorization of the Central bank, but the rate of interest was fixed freely by the bank. The Court ordered to revert all paid commissions in excess of the interest rate when found that the commission over the years was increased by the bank in excess of the interest rate paid to the client. This precedent but may lead to future challenges