Consumer protection in the EU
Common European rules on defective products sold will apply whether the product is purchased online or on site. Defective goods will have to be repaired or replaced, or the client must get their money back, said Bilyana Tzarnoretchka, PR by the Bureau of the European Parliament - Sofia. Users shopping online or on site will have the same rights if they buy a defective product.
The Goods Sales Directive aims to ensure a high level of consumer protection in the EU and to create legal certainty for businesses wishing to sell their products in other Member States. It harmonises certain contractual rights such as the protection options available to users when the product is not working properly or is defective and how to use these options.
Goods with digital items (eg "smart" refrigerators, smartphones and televisions or digital clocks) are also covered by this directive. Consumers buying these products will be entitled to the necessary updates within a reasonable period of time based on the type and purpose of the goods and digital items.
This Directive also covers the remedies available to consumers, the warranty periods, the evidence requirements and the trader's obligations:
. in the case of a defective product, the consumer will have the right to choose whether the product is to be repaired or replaced without additional payment;
• the consumer will be entitled to an immediate reduction in the price or termination of the contract as well as to receive his money back in certain cases: for example if the problem is not remedied despite the trader's attempts if the repair is not made within the "reasonable time "or if the defect is too serious;
• The trader will be held responsible if the defect occurs within 2 years of receiving the product from the consumer. Member States may, however, introduce or continue to respect a longer warranty period in their national laws in order to maintain the same level of consumer protection that already exists in some countries;
• within one or two years after delivery, the buyer is not required to prove that the product has been defective (the evidence requirements are reversed in favor of the consumer).
For example, now that if a user discovers that a product he has purchased more than 6 months ago is defective and has asked the seller to repair or replace it, the user may be required to prove that this defect existed at the time of delivery. Under the new rules, within a period of one or two years, the consumer will be able to ask the seller to take action without having to prove that the defect existed at the time of delivery.
The Goods Sales Directive is accompanied by the Digital Content Directive, which was provisionally negotiated on 22 January 2019. They will be voted in plenary as a package.
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