Guarantees and returns – Italy
How long is the legal guarantee for new and second-hand goods?
The duration is 2 years but can be reduced to 1 year for second-hand goods.
If the product is defective, who is responsible for putting things right?
The seller, even for purchases made on an internet platform. However, the platform may have agreed to act as an intermediary so read the terms and conditions.
By when must the consumer notify the seller of a defect?
Within 2 months of noticing the defect.
Who has to prove the presence/absence of a defect and how long do they have to do this?
The seller must prove that the item was not defective for the first 6 months after the delivery of the product ("reversal of burden of proof"). After this time the consumer must prove that it was defective.
Is there a third party testing body that can help to provide proof?
The consumer can ask any repair shop for an expert opinion, but they do not have to give one and their opinion might not be accepted by the seller. In the event of a court procedure, the judge may accept the consumer's expert's opinion or ask for an independent expert opinion.
What remedies is the consumer entitled to free of charge? Is there a deadline for implementing the solution?
There is a "hierarchy of remedies":
- Firstly, repair or replacement according to the consumer's wishes, within a reasonable time and free of charge
- Secondly, refund or reduction of the purchase price if repair or replacement is impossible, but only under certain conditions
There is no deadline for implementation of a solution.
Is the repaired/replaced product covered by a new guarantee?
Can the consumer take action against the importer or any intermediary in the supply chain up to and including the producer?
Only if the importer or producer offers their own commercial warranty. Recourse may exist if the defective product causes economic or bodily harm.
If no amicable solution can be found, what is the deadline for taking the case to court?
26 months from delivery of the goods.
Are any other legal guarantees laid down in national law coexisting with the legal conformity guarantee?
There is also a guarantee against hidden defects, but the consumer must prove the existence of any such defects.
Who is responsible for application of the warranty?
The party offering the warranty, be it the seller, the producer or a third party guarantor. Always refer to the documentation provided.
On average, how long is a commercial warranty?
1 to 5 years, and in most cases 2 years, as with the legal guarantee. More expensive goods usually have a longer warranty which often applies to specific parts of the product.
Is it free of charge?
Not necessarily. The trader can fix the conditions, so it can be free of charge or offered against payment.
Does it have to be confirmed in writing?
The seller has to provide the commercial warranty in a written document or in a durable and accessible format at the consumer's request.
What information is required?
It must include the content of the warranty, all essential elements such as duration and geographical coverage, details of the company offering it and a reminder of the legal guarantee. It should also state that the commercial warranty does not affect the consumer's rights under the legal guarantee.