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Guaranteesandreturns

Updated:29/02/2016

Guaranteesandreturns
UnderEUrules,atradermustrepair,replace,reducethepriceorgiveyouarefundifgoodsyouboughtturnoutto
befaultyordonotlookorworkasadvertised.
Ifyouboughtagoodoraserviceonlineoroutsideofashop(bytelephone,mailorder,fromadoortodoor
salesperson),youalsohavetherighttocancelandreturnyourorderwithin14days,foranyreasonandwithno
justification.
Findoutspecificconditionstoinvokeguaranteesandwithdrawfrompurchases:
Guaranteesforfaultygoods
Cancelandreturnyourorder
Freeofcharge,2yearguarantee(legalguarantee)
UnderEUrulesyoualwayshavetherighttoaminimum2yearguaranteeatnocost.
This2yearguaranteeisyourminimumright.Nationalrulesinyourcountrymaygiveyouextraprotection:
however,anydeviationfromEUrulesmustalwaysbeintheconsumer'sbestinterest.
IfgoodsyouboughtanywhereintheEU[Inthiscase,the28EUmemberstates+Iceland,LiechtensteinandNorway] turn
outtobefaultyordonotlookorworkasadvertised,thesellermustrepairorreplacethemfreeofchargeor
giveyouapricereductionorafullrefund.
Asageneralrule,youwillonlybeabletoaskforapartialorfullrefundwhenitisnotpossibletorepairorreplace
thegoods.

Youmightnotbeentitledtoarefundiftheproblemisminor,suchasascratchonaCDcase.

Howtogetgoodsrepaired,replacedorrefunded
The2yearguaranteeperiodstartsassoonasyoureceiveyourgoods.
InsomeEUcountriesyoumustinformthesellerwithin2monthsofdiscoveringthefault,otherwise
youmayloseyourrighttotheguarantee.
Within6monthsoftheirreceipt,yousimplyneedtoshowthetraderthatthegoodsarefaultyornotas
advertised.
But,after6monthsinmostEUcountriesyouneedtoprovethatthedefectalreadyexistedonreceiptofthe
goods,forexample,byshowingthatitisduetothepoorqualityofthematerialsused.
ThetraderisalwaysrequiredtoprovideasolutioninsomeEUcountriesyoualsohavetherighttorequesta
remedyfromtheproducer.
TheEuropeanConsumerCentreinyourcountrycangiveyoumoredetailedinformationaboutyour
additionalrightsundernationallawandcanhelpifyouhaveaproblemwithgoodsyouboughtinorfrom
anotherEUcountry.

Samplestory:nonconformityofgoodsisnotalwaysimmediatelyapparent
Mirekorderedalaptop,whichappearedtoworkwell.However,morethanayearafterbuyingit,hediscovered
thatithadlessmemorythanitwassupposedtohave.

Althoughthisproblemhadnotbeenobvioustohimimmediately,andthelaptopwasstillfunctional,it
nonethelessdidnotconformtowhatwasadvertisedoragreedwhenheboughtit.Mirekwasthereforeableto
obtainapartialrefundfromtheshop.

Additionalguarantees(commercialguarantees,warranties)
Shopsorproducerswilloftenofferyouanadditionalcommercialguarantee(alsoreferredtoasawarranty),
eitherincludedinthepriceoftheproductoratanextracost.
Thiscangiveyoubetterprotectionbutcanneverreplaceorreducetheminimum2yearguarantee,which
youalwayshaveunderEUrules.
Similarly,ifashopsellsyouanewproductmorecheaplyonanoguarantee'basis,thisonlymeansthatyoudon't
haveanyadditionalprotection.Youalwayshavetherighttoatwoyearguaranteefreeofchargeiftheproduct
turnsouttobefaultyornotasadvertised.

Samplestory:your2yearlegalguaranteecannotbeshortenedbya
commercialguarantee
Carlaboughtahairdryerwitha6monthseller'sguarantee.
Whenitbrokeafter8months,shetookitbacktotheshop.Theshopassistanttoldherthatherguaranteehad
runout,andthatshewasnotentitledtoarefund.
Carlarightlypointedoutthatshehadafull2yearguaranteefreeofchargeunderEUconsumerprotection
law,andthattheseller's6monthguaranteeonlyofferedadditionalservices.

Secondhandgoods
Secondhandgoodsthatyoubuyfromatraderarealsocoveredbytheminimum2yearguarantee.However,
goodsboughtfromprivateindividualsoratpublicauctionsarenotcovered.
InsomeEUcountries,thebuyerandsellercanagreetoaguaranteeperiodoflessthan2years,butnoshorter
than1year.Thisshouldbemadeclearatthetimeofpurchase.
EUlegislation
Directiveoncertainaspectsofthesaleofconsumergoodsandassociatedguarantees
ConsumerandmarketinglawDirectorateGeneralJustice
Publicconsultations
GreenPaperonretailfinancialservices:betterproducts,morechoice,andgreateropportunitiesforconsumers
andbusinesses
Evaluationofthe20132017generationofEuropeDirectInformationCentres(EDICs)
Needmoreinformationonrulesinaspecificcountry?
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