Information on guarantees
for the sale of consumer goods
Goods regulated by law
The Guarantee Act applies to movable goods for private consumption, i.e. consumer goods: from a household appliance to a vehicle, including furniture, objects of all kinds, even works of art. By its very concept, services and real estate are eliminated.
The Law excludes purchases and sales between private individuals.
For new consumer goods the guarantee will be two years, while for second-hand products, the guarantee will be one year. During the first six months of guarantee of a new product it is assumed that the damage comes from the factory and the seller must assume all the costs of the repair, both parts, transfer, and working hours. The warranty period is suspended for as long as the product or object is under repair.
Product in good condition
The law considers that a consumer must be satisfied with the purchased product if it meets the following requirements: that the product conforms to the description given by the seller and that it has the qualities manifested through a demonstration or model. It must also serve the purpose indicated both in the instruction book, and in the verbal indications that the seller may have made, or in a demonstration video. Advertising, indications that appear on a label, or a use that is derived from the characteristics of the product itself, also serves as a common use. Even if the consumer has requested a special use and the seller has assured him that the purchased good will be offered to him, this must be the case. In addition, the product being purchased must be of appropriate quality and performance. Thus, a pressure cooker must cook faster than a traditional kettle.
Application of the Law
The Act obliges sellers of consumer goods on the one hand and consumers as final recipients on the other. In other words, contracts between private individuals are excluded, since it only provides for the sale between a professional seller and a consumer.
It will apply whenever consumer goods are purchased, i.e. any object or product for private consumption.
Goods purchased at a judicial sale (auction of confiscated goods) are excluded. Nor is the distribution of unpackaged water or gas for sale subject to this law.
Claim in case of product failure
The first person responsible for the product is the seller. However, the consumer can go directly to the manufacturer or the importer, without going to the seller. If, for example, during a holiday away from home, a digital camera has been purchased that does not match what was offered in the shop, it is easier for the consumer to go to the manufacturer or importer than to the shop where he bought it.
If the product does not correspond to the advertised characteristics, the consumer can choose between repairing the good or replacing it, unless this proves impossible or disproportionate. If repair or replacement is not possible or is disproportionate, the consumer may choose either an appropriate reduction in price or the termination of the contract, i.e. a refund of the price.
The consumer may not require replacement in the case of second-hand goods or goods which cannot be replaced.
For example, replacement cannot be demanded if the good is no longer manufactured or there is no stock left, if a second hand vehicle is purchased or, because of the impossibility, a work of art, an antique or an exclusive clothing design can be replaced. Replacement will be disproportionate when the defect is small and easy to repair.
Repair shall be disproportionate when it is uneconomical, i.e. more expensive to repair than the value of the good.
The consumer must come to report the fault within one month of detection. In this sense, if the problem has appeared in the six months after the purchase of the product, the seller must make the guarantee effective, since in that period of time it is assumed that the problem comes from the factory. However, if those six months have passed, it is the consumer who must prove that the fault is of origin and that it was not caused by misuse of the product.
The law establishes that during the six months following the delivery of the repaired goods, the seller will be responsible for the faults that caused the repair, and it is presumed that it is the same fault when defects of the same origin as those initially repaired are reproduced. In order to make this repair guarantee effective, the consumer must keep proof of the repair and of the technical service that repaired the product at the time.
Failure after repair or replacement
The Law includes these possibilities: If the consumer chose to replace a faulty product with another one of the same kind, he can ask the seller to repair it, provided that it is not disproportionate, reduce the price or return the money.
If, on the other hand, the consumer chose to have a product repaired, he can demand an exchange, a reduction in price or a refund of all the money paid.
But the Act does not specify the amount or type of price reduction that the seller must make to the consumer if that is the option chosen. Thus the two parties involved in the purchase and sale are obliged to reach agreements that satisfy both of them.
Refusal to repair, reduce price or refund
If we are within the first six months, we must demand reparation and request an RMA document and even insist on going to trial. It is presumed that the fault existed. But if the first six months have already passed, we are in reverse. It is up to the consumer to prove that the product was purchased with the fault.
In any case, the consumer will have to negotiate and if he does not agree with the discount offered by the seller, he can go to an appraiser to determine the price of the product after the repair and request a price reduction in that sense.
Instruction book and bad installation
If a consumer misuses a product because the instruction booklet is incorrect, the warranty law protects the consumer and may require repair or replacement. Similarly, if the failure is due to a bad installation caused by both the wrong instructions in the manual and the technicians sent by the seller, the seller is also responsible.
In case of repair or transfer to a technical service, what must the consumer pay?
Nothing. During the period in which the guarantee is effective, the seller or producer must pay for the cost of travel, parts and the time of the repair. In addition, while the product is being serviced, the warranty period is suspended. In other words, the watch does not run. On the other hand, apart from demanding the application of the guarantee (the repair, change, price reduction or money back), the consumer can demand compensation for the damages or losses derived from the breakdown and the repair time. For example, if a user buys a fridge and it breaks down within a week of purchase, in addition to requesting that the guarantee be made effective, this user can demand compensation for the food that has broken down due to the malfunctioning of the appliance.
MAGNETAR (MAGNETAR PLUS,S.L.)
The commercial guarantee is that which the manufacturer, distributor or seller gives and which must always exceed that offered by the law, as this is understood to be a minimum demanded by the consumer. It is also a marketing tool for companies. However, this guarantee must meet certain requirements, such as making clear what it applies to, the object or product that has this guarantee and the name and address of the person offering it.