From January 01, 2023, a new legal basis for submitting complaints appeared in the consumer regulations. The legislator introduced an extremely broad term of the so-called “non-compliance of the goods with the contract”. What does this mean for sellers? Of course, there are a lot of interpretation problems and problems for customer service departments.
The goods are non-compliant with the contract when:
In the event of non-compliance of the goods with the contract, the buyer may demand:
Repair or replacement should take place:
The choice between replacement or repair is up to the consumer. If the consumer’s request
is impossible or requires excessive costs from the seller, it may replace or repair the good within his discretion.
The consumer has the right to reduce the price or withdraw from the contract when the goods are significantly
non-compliant with the contract and if the seller:
In the event of a significant non-compliance with the contract, the consumer may demand a price reduction or withdrawal from the contract contract, without first exercising the right to repair or replacement.
The seller is liable to the buyer only if the goods at the time of delivery are
non-compliant with the contract. The seller’s liability for non-compliant of the goods with the contract does not arise only if the buyer knew about this non-conformity or, judging reasonably, should have know.
Example: If, at the time of purchasing the paint, the buyer knew that it was not intended for exterior surfaces, and nevertheless bought the product to use it to paint the fence, the seller will not be responsible for the non-compliance of the goods with agreement.
In addition, if a non-conformity is found within 6 months of the delivery of the goods, it is presumed that it existed at the time of delivery. The seller is then obliged to prove that the product was compliant at the time of sale. After six months, the burden of proving the non-conformity of the goods with the contract will rest with the consumer.
It is not uncommon for a person to contact the seller and wants to return the goods or replace the goods with a new one because the buyers stopped liking the one it have. In such a situation, the seller is not obliged to accept the goods. It depends solely on his good will.
The basic condition for pursuing liability is to notify the seller of the non-compliance of the goods with the contract in the form of a complaint. Complaints should preferably be submitted in writing. The seller has no right to refer consumers to another entity, e.g. a manufacturer.
The complaint should contain a description of the lack of conformity of the goods with the contract, the buyer’s request and proof of purchase, e.g. a receipt. However, the seller cannot make the acceptance of the complaint dependent on the delivery of the receipt.
The seller is liable to the consumer for the goods sold if the defect is found within 2 years from the moment of sale. This period cannot be shortened, with the exception of second-hand goods, for which the seller may limit the period of his liability to a maximum of one year. The seller is obliged to respond to the buyer’s complaint within 14 days.
If he fails to do so, it is considered that the complaint was justified.