If there is a material or legal defect, the buyer has the following rights (§ 437 BGB): The buyer can demand supplementary performance, withdraw from the contract or reduce the purchase price, demand compensation or reimbursement of wasted expenses.
In order to assert these rights, the buyer must comply with the statutory notice periods and there must be no exclusion of defects.
In the event of a defect, the buyer can, at his option, request the removal of the defect (subsequent improvement or repair) or the delivery of a defect-free item (Section 439 (1) BGB). However, the buyer has no right to choose if a variant requires excessive costs.
If the supplementary performance fails, for example because the repair is not possible or a replacement part can no longer be obtained, the buyer now has the following options:
Rücktritt vom Kaufvertrag („Geld zurück oder Ware zurück“) oder reduction des Kaufpreises.
Example: "Money back or goods back"
In the event of a television that does not work, the buyer will reclaim the purchase price paid. If the television only has a "scratch", it will reduce the purchase price because it can be used even if it does not look so nice.
In addition, the buyer can assert further rights, namely compensation or reimbursement of wasted expenses. The damage caused by the defective item can be claimed by the seller (for example if the buyer's laundry was damaged by the defective washing machine). If the buyer had expenses in reliance on the delivery of the defect-free item, he can demand these costs from the seller.