If you have used a purchased product in a regular manner and have maintained it as instructed, but it still develops a defect, which can associated with faulty manufacturing, you have the right to submit a complaint to the trader within two years from the purchase.
To submit a complaint, find the purchase receipt, contract or another proof of purchase and immediately contact the trader. Make sure to do this within two months after discovering the defect.
Stop using the defective product to prevent exacerbation of the problem.
In case of a defective product, you have the right to demand from the seller repair or replacement of the product free of charge. The choice between repair and replacement is subject to an agreement between the parties but, as a rule, the seller decides whether to replace or repair a defective product.
You can demand lowering of the price or termination of the contract and refund of the product price if:
- the seller is unable to repair or replace the product; or
- repair or replacement of the product fails; or
- the seller does not eliminate the product defect within reasonable time; or
- you have been subjected to unjustified inconveniences.
If the seller has reasons to suspect that the product defect was not caused by faulty manufacturing or that the defect was caused by you, the causes of the fault will be determined by experts. The responsibility for establishing the causes of defect rests with the seller within the first six months after purchase; during the subsequent period, the organisation of assessment is subject to an agreement between you and the seller.
In addition to the right to submit complaints within two years, which arises from the Law of Obligations Act, the seller can provide products with a warranty (against defects).
The rights granted by a trader to the consumer under a warranty should exceed the rights applicable during the two-year period for submission of complaints. For instance, the length of the warranty period could exceed two years or the warranty could include additional benefits, such as provision of a replacement product during warranty repairs, 24-hour customer service, etc.
The same conditions apply to services purchased from a service provider. In case of a service, you have the right to submit complaints to the service provider within two years from receiving the service.
The trader has to respond to your complaint in writing within 15 days.
If the seller fails to respond, refuses to resolve the complaint or you do not agree with the solution offered by the seller, you can file a complaint about the trader or service provider with the Consumer Disputes Committee.
If you do not agree with the decision of the Committee, you can appeal to a county court. The other party in the dispute has the same right.
- Providing a product or service with a warranty is a voluntary undertaking of the trader, but the right to submit complaints about product defects is guaranteed to you as a consumer by law. By issuing a warranty, a trader may not reduce or modify the statutory liability for ensuring conformity to the contract for two years.
- The seller is responsible for covering any costs associated with elimination of a product defect, such as postal, transport, labour and material costs.
- Second-hand products are subject to the same conditions as new products. Consequently, the two-year period for submitting complaints also applies to second-hand sales.
The consumer protection rules to not apply to purchases from natural persons, because such purchases do not constitute a contract between a trader and a consumer but a transaction between two individuals. Consequently, you do not have the right to submit complaints when buying from a natural person and the only option in case of problems is to seek help from a court.
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