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Product guarantees
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"How long are guarantees on consumer goods valid?"

Viktor used to live in Germany, where it is common for products to have a manufacturer’s guarantee of five years. In March 2005, he bought a new washing machine in his home town of Eger in Hungary, but it started to leak water in April 2006.

"I complained to the Hungarian representative of the manufacturer, but they didn’t want to know. They said in Hungary there is only a one-year guarantee, not five years. What can I do?"

In this case, Viktor’s rights as an EU consumer were not respected and he should have reverted to the seller to avail of his legal right to 2 years guarantee. Commission Communication BG CS DA DE ET EL EN ES FR IT LV LT HU MT NL PL PT RO SK SL FI SV pdf

When you buy a new product, it should look and function exactly as advertised. But do you know what your rights are if your new coffee machine leaks, or if a green door is delivered instead of the blue one you ordered?

The vast majority of purchases and transactions in Europe take place with no reason for complaint. However, if you do have reason to complain, you should be aware that the following rights and responsibilities apply everywhere in the EU:

  • If the item you bought does not look or function as it was advertised, or if it is not satisfactory, you have the right to have the item replaced at no extra cost or to get your money back if the replacement was not completed in a reasonable time.

  • If you buy goods that turn out to be faulty, manufacturers must compensate you for any personal injury or damage caused to property.

  • When you buy goods or services by post, telephone, fax or through the Internet from a professional trader, you have the same rights in relation to guarantees as if you had bought them in a shop.

Further information: Consumer sales and guarantees



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