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What about the warranty for defects in consumer goods?

The adoption of the new Civil Code has raised more questions than answers in the case of the guarantee for defects in consumer goods. So let’s strengthen the legal awareness of customers and briefly tell them what they are entitled to if they buy a defective consumer product.

3 minutes of reading

Please note that this blog only covers claims under a contract of sale for consumer goods and not other items (typically real estate) that are the subject of the sale.

According to the drafters of the new Civil Code, the customer (buyer) has the right to a guarantee of two years from the receipt of the goods.

Although there are a number of legal opinions that contradict the above, this is now the prevailing opinion, which is also held by the Ministries of Justice and Industry and Trade. It is therefore very likely that it will also be adopted by the ordinary courts. Personally, however, we recommend that you always have the seller confirm the warranty in writing for more expensive goods.

However, the buyer should claim the defect from the seller without delay and not wait “as long as possible”.

In this context, it is also worth remembering that the warranty for defects stated in the advertisement for a particular product (e.g. 7 years) is also binding on the seller and can be invoked by the buyer over and above the two-year warranty guaranteed by law.

Buyer’s rights

1. The right to have the item replaced or repaired

If there is an irremediable defect and the item cannot be used for its intended purpose, the buyer has the right to have the item replaced. The buyer also has the right to have the item replaced if the defect occurs repeatedly after the repair or if there are multiple defects in the item. However, if the repair is only a partial repair after which the item can be used without defect, the buyer is only entitled to have the item repaired.

2. Right to claim a reasonable discount

If the buyer does not wish to have the item repaired or replaced, or does not withdraw from the contract, he may demand a reasonable discount on the purchase price.

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3. Withdrawal from the contract and right to a refund

The buyer is entitled to a refund if the defect occurs repeatedly after the item has been repaired or if there are multiple defects in the item. The buyer is also entitled to a refund if the item cannot be used for the agreed purpose and cannot be replaced or repaired.

In this context, we must draw attention to the fundamental difference between the right of withdrawal when buying an item in a ‘bricks and mortar shop’ and when buying an item in an ‘e-shop’.

While the buyer’s right of withdrawal is very limited when buying an item in a bricks-and-mortar shop (see point 3 above), when buying an item in an e-shop the buyer can withdraw from the contract for any reason, but only within 14 days of receipt of the goods.

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Author of the article

JUDr. Ondřej Preuss, Ph.D.

Ondřej is the attorney who came up with the idea of providing legal services online. He's been earning his living through legal services for more than 10 years. He especially likes to help clients who may have given up hope in solving their legal issues at work, for example with real estate transfers or copyright licenses.

Education
  • Law, Ph.D, Pf UK in Prague
  • Law, L’université Nancy-II, Nancy
  • Law, Master’s degree (Mgr.), Pf UK in Prague
  • International Territorial Studies (Bc.), FSV UK in Prague

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