The Civil, Commercial, Conciliation and Family Court of First Nomination of the city of Cosquín sentenced the Cordoba Provincial Energy Company (EPEC) to reimburse a sum of money, pay a fine and compensate the damage caused to a user, after charging an electricity bill that had already been paid.
The company argued that the debt claim had been correct since the payment made by the user had been rejected by the credit card. However, the court explained that this error could not be attributed to the consumer, since she had correctly paid her account statement.
As reported by the Judiciary of the province of Córdoba, the ruling notes that the victim tried in the trial having paid the summary of the card in which the service appeared and indicated that “If the credit card was not able to transfer the amount debited to EPEC, it is a matter beyond the control of the consumer,” so it must be solved between the financial entity and the electricity company.
In turn, the judge Carlos Fernando Machado specified that the documentation showed that the user was up to date with the payment of the electricity service when she was summoned, since the bills after the claimed period indicated: “As of the date of issuance of this document, in this contract there are no outstanding debts due to issued and unpaid invoices.”
He also stated that the user’s age should be taken into account, since she was an older person, who is protected in her rights by international law and should be considered as “hypervulnerable”.
In this sense, Machado specified that “Resolution No. 139/20 of the Ministry of Domestic Trade establishes that consumers who are in other situations of vulnerability due to their age, gender, physical or mental state, or for social, economic, ethnic and/or cultural circumstances that cause special difficulties in fully exercising their rights as consumers. Note that the plaintiff had to attend, several times, accompanied by her daughter to the Epec care center.”
Thus, the claim for the refund of the money and the right to claim compensation for the payment of invoices already paid was admitted, as well as, the official applied a fine of 25% of the total amount of the invoice to the company.