With European elections coming up in May 2019, you probably want to know how the European Union impacts your daily life, before you think about voting. In the latest in a series of posts on what Europe does for you, your family, your business and your wellbeing, we look at what Europe does for people unhappy with their purchase.
Have you have ever bought something that you weren’t happy with when you got home? If so, EU rules provide you with a certain set of rights.
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One is that you can change your mind within 14 days, without giving a reason, if your purchase was made online, over the phone, by mail order, or you bought it from a door-to-door salesperson. Be careful though, because this right does not apply when you buy a product in a shop, or if the product was tailor-made especially for you.
Regardless of where you bought the item, if it is faulty, you have the right to have it repaired or replaced by the seller. If this does not work out, you have the right to get the price reduced or a full refund. Throughout the EU, the legal guarantee for products is always at least two years. However, during the first six months there is an assumption that a product that doesn’t work was faulty from the start, after which, in most countries, it is you who has to prove that this was the case.
Remember, though, that these rules apply only if you bought from a business. If you buy from a private person, even if the goods they sell are new, EU consumer rules do not apply and your rights depend exclusively on national law.
If you have problems with an item you bought in another EU country, and you are unable to resolve the issue with a professional seller, you can turn to the European Consumer Centre. Regardless of where the product was bought, you can also try to settle the dispute out-of-court using an alternative dispute resolution procedure or through the ODR platform if it was bought online.
- European Commission’s Your Europe website on guarantees and returns, https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/consumers/shopping/guarantees-returns/index_en.htm
- European Commission’s Your Europe website on out-of-court procedures for consumers, https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/consumers/consumers-dispute-resolution/out-of-court-procedures/index_en.htm
- EPRS | European Parliamentary Research Service: www.epthinktank.eu