Updated : 12/2011
Wherever you buy goods in the EU, you have two years to request repairs or replacement if they turn out to be faulty or not as advertised. If a product cannot be repaired or replaced within a reasonable time or without inconvenience, you may request a refund or price reduction.
The two-year guarantee period starts as soon as your goods are delivered, and you must inform the seller of the fault within two months of discovering it.
The seller is always liable, and in some EU countries you also have the right to request a remedy from the producer.
Mirek ordered a laptop, which appeared to work well. However, more than a year after buying it, he discovered that it had less memory than it was supposed to have.
Although this problem had not been obvious to him immediately, and the laptop was still functional, it nonetheless did not conform to what was advertised when he bought it. Mirek was therefore able to obtain a refund from the shop.
Shops will often offer you a guarantee, either included in the product price or at an extra cost. This does not replace the minimum two-year guarantee, which you still have.
Similarly, if a shop sells you a new product more cheaply on a ‘no guarantee’ basis, this only means that you don’t have any additional protection. You still have two years to seek redress if the product turns out to be faulty or not as advertised.
Carla bought a hairdryer with a six-month seller’s guarantee.
When it broke after eight months, she took it back to the shop. The shop assistant told her that her guarantee had run out, and that she was not eligible for a refund.
Carla rightly pointed out that she had a full two-year guarantee under EU consumer protection law, and that the seller’s six-month guarantee only offered additional protection.
In the case of second-hand goods, the buyer and seller can agree to a guarantee period of less than two years, but no shorter than one year. This should be made clear to you at the time of purchase.Still need help?
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In this case, the 27 EU member states + Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway