Is my product covered by a guarantee? How long does the guarantee last? Can I demand a replacement or a repair?
ARE THE GUARANTEE CONDITIONS MET?
1. YOU HAVE KEPT A LEGIBLE PROOF OF PURCHASE
2. YOU HAVE PURCHASED THE GOODS FOR YOUR PRIVATE ACTIVITY
The guarantee is valid only for sales between a professional seller and a consumer.
3. YOU WAITED TOO LONG TO REPORT THE DEFECT
According to the law, the seller is entitled to apply a time limit by which the defect must be reported. There is however a legal minimum of two months from the time when you discovered the defect.
4. THE PRODUCT IS IN ITS ORIGINAL CONDITION
You may make a claim under the legal guarantee only if you have kept the product in its original condition. If you have replaced parts, the product no longer meets the description of the sales contract.
IS THE PRODUCT REALLY COVERED BY A GUARANTEE?
IS THE PRODUCT A TANGIBLE PERSONAL PROPERTY?
As a consumer, you are entitled to a guarantee on all consumer goods, i.e. all tangible personal property. Real property, such as a house, is not concerned by the two-year guarantee, no more so than intangible goods – goods that you cannot grasp – such as software programs.
WHAT IS THE DURATION OF THE LEGAL GUARANTEE?
The statutory guarantee period is two years from the collection or the delivery of the product. This provision is mandatory. It is therefore not possible to derogate from this provision. A shorter period may be applied for second-hand goods but it must be at least one year.
LESS THAN SIX MONTHS HAVE PASSED
If the product you purchased shows a defect within six months, the retailer must automatically replace it or repair it, unless he can prove that it is your fault.
MORE THAN SIX MONTHS HAVE PASSED, BUT LESS THAN TWO YEARS
After six months, the legal guarantee is still in force but the retailer may require that you prove that the defect already existed at the time of the sale.
MORE THAN TWO YEARS HAVE PASSED
If the defect appears more than two years after delivery of the item, you may not make a claim under the legal guarantee for consumer goods, but rather a possible claim under the commercial guarantee or the legal guarantee for “hidden defects”. The latter entitles you to demand a price reduction or the cancellation of the sale. You do however have to prove that the hidden defect was really present at the time of delivery.
WHEN CAN I MAKE A CLAIM UNDER THE LEGAL GUARANTEE?
THE PRODUCT DOES NOT MATCH THE DESCRIPTION
The product does not have, for example, the qualities of the item that the retailer presented to you in the form of a sample or specimen.
THE PRODUCT IS NOT SUITABLE FOR THE USE YOU WISH TO MAKE OF IT. YOU INFORMED THE RETAILER OF THE INTENDED USE BEFOREHAND
The legal guarantee does not apply when, as a consumer, you were aware of the defect or could not reasonably be unaware of it at the time of purchase.
THE PRODUCT IS NOT FIT FOR THE USE FOR WHICH IT IS GENERALLY USED
The legal guarantee does not apply in the event of misuse or poor maintenance.
THE PRODUCT DOES NOT PRESENT THE NORMAL QUALITY OR A REASONABLY EXPECTED PERFORMANCE
This provision deals with the nature of the goods and the public statements made by the producer or by the retailer (especially in advertising or on the label). The legal guarantee does not apply to defects which are the result of normal wear.
WHAT MAY I CLAIM?
REPAIR OR REPLACEMENT FREE OF CHARGE
Free means free. All the expenses necessary for ensuring the conformity of the goods, such as the shipping costs and the expenses associated with work and equipment, are therefore to be borne by the retailer.
REFUND OF THE PURCHASE PRICE OR CANCELLATION OF THE SALE
When replacement or repair proves impossible (for example, the product or the parts necessary for its repair are no longer available) or repair or replacement is disproportionate, you are entitled to a partial refund of the purchase price or cancellation of the sale. Cancellation of the sale is not however possible for a minor defect.
The retailer may take into account the use you have had of the goods since delivery in order to determine the amount to be refunded.
IF THE FAULTY PRODUCT HAS ALREADY BEEN REPAIRED OR REPLACED
The guarantee period is suspended during the time necessary for repair or replacement. If your television set has been away for repair for a fortnight, for example, the original guarantee period is extended for that term (two years + two weeks).
WHAT ABOUT THE COMMERCIAL GUARANTEE?
A commercial guarantee is a guarantee that the manufacturer or the seller may offer to his customers – free of charge or not – in addition to the legal guarantee.
THERE IS AN ADDITIONAL GUARANTEE
Such a manufacturer or seller’s guarantee is binding on the person who drew it up and may not reduce the consumer’s legal guarantee under any circumstances.