In this article we will explain how the minimum guarantee on products in Italy works and how to assert your rights against sellers
Surely everyone will have had problems with household appliances or other products at least once in their life. In these cases obviously the first thought that comes to mind is that of take advantage of the guarantee to get compensation of some kind. However, sometimes it is not always clear in which situations it is possible to obtain a repair, a replacement or a refund. To shed light on your doubts we have therefore decided to write this article, where we will explain how the minimum guarantee works on products in Italy and how to enforce your rights on sellers.
The Legal Guarantee | How does the minimum guarantee work?
The Legal Guarantee is what is commonly called the minimum guarantee. The guarantee is mandatory By law, it is valid for two years from the delivery of the product and you consumers have the option to assert it directly against the seller. To assert your right, however, it is necessary that the product you purchased has a lack of conformity. Below you will find the main ones cause of a lack of conformity in the goods:
- The product is not suitable for the use for which goods of the same type are normally used
- A product is not suitable for the use intended by the consumer, declared to the seller at the time of purchase and accepted by him
- The product does not conform to the description given by the seller or the manufacturer and/or does not possess the qualities advertised and described on the labeling
- The purchased product does not have the same qualities shown to the consumer by the seller through a sample or test model
These are the main reasons why a product may have a lack of conformity. Also know that, in case the seller should perform an incorrect installation yourself of the good, then the product will be considered disagree.
The Commercial Warranty | How does the minimum guarantee work?
The commercial guarantee it is usually an extra offered by the seller who it is added to the legal one without however replacing it in any way. This basic guarantee is optionalbut once offered by the seller it becomes binding for whoever proposes it. Also know that the conventional guarantee can in no case limit the rights of the consumer but it can only expand them.
Your rights | How does the minimum guarantee work?
If the product you purchased has a lack of conformity then you are entitled to have the seller repair or replace it at no additional charge and within a reasonable time. Furthermore, if the repair/replacement is too expensive or impossible, it is possible to request the money back or a price reduction.
In some circumstances though the Legal Guarantee may not be valid even if the product presents a lack of conformity. These are the main situations in which the guarantee cannot be used:
- If the consumer directly caused the damage
- If the consumer knew or could know the defect at the time of purchase
- In case the lack of conformity derives from instructions or materials supplied by the consumer (for example if the consumer has supplied an inferior material for the realization of the product)
Until when can the guarantee be used? | How does the minimum guarantee work?
The legal guarantee has one duration of two years from the moment of receipt of the goodbut the deadline for reporting the lack of conformity is from two months after its discovery. This means that if you discover the defect shortly before the end of the two-year guarantee, you will still have another two months to contact the seller. Furthermore, if the repair of the goods should take place after the term of the guarantee, a new two-year warranty will be applied to the replacement piecei.
However, the lack of conformity is not always easily recognized. If the defect occurs within six months of delivery then it is automatically assumed that it was already present at the time of the purchase, while over six months instead it is necessary for the consumer to demonstrate in some way that the defect is connected to a defect that already existed at the time of delivery.
Goods subject to the legal guarantee | How does the minimum guarantee work?
The legal guarantee it applies to all contracts for the sale of movable consumer goods, such as home appliances, PCs, automobiles, garments and so on. The law then extends this protection also to contracts for the supply of consumer goods to be manufactured, to exchange contracts; supply contracts; to procurement contracts and work contracts. Furthermore, the legal guarantee also applies to contracts for the sale of sale and used goods. In the case of used goods, however, the guarantee has one minimum duration of one year and is excluded in case of defects due to use.
However, there are obviously also types of contracts that exist excluded from the legal guarantee. Below you will find all the exclusions:
- Lease agreements
- Loans for use contracts
- Contracts for real estate
- Forced sales contracts
- Finance leases
- Sales contracts by the Judicial Authorities
- Contracts for the supply of electricity
- Contracts for the supply of water and gas (unless they are delivered in predetermined quantities in the form of bottles or cylinders)
Required Documents | How does the minimum guarantee work?
To enforce the legal guarantee you need to have the correct ones documents proving the purchase. For this reason we advise you to keep them for at least 26 months tax receipts, a photocopy of them, or invoices made out to a natural person.
As proof of purchase the check slip, credit card slip, debit card receipt or packaging are also valid. It is also essential that the proof of purchase bears the data and possibly there description of the asset bought. In the absence of at least one of these documents, it is also possible to assert the testimony as proof of purchase.
Stand up for your rights | How does the minimum guarantee work?
Even if the defect is caused by the manufacturer, in any case, the seller remains the only person responsible towards you. This means that the seller will have an obligation to respond directly to consumer requestsalso taking charge of any costs. For this reason it is good to remember that they are completely illegitimate the seller’s requests contact the assistance center or the product manufacturer directly.
What to do in case of problems | How does the minimum guarantee work?
Unfortunately, sometimes some dishonest sellers may refuse to provide proper customer service. In these cases, fortunately, you still have the opportunity to assert your rights in various ways. Below you will find the main methods to follow in these situations:
- Report the lack of conformity
- The consumer must report the lack of conformity to the seller as soon as possible and in any case within two months of discovery. The consumer can formulate the complaint directly, always formalizing it in writing by registered letter, by email or fax, or he can contact the nearest Chamber of Commerce or the ADOC in order to receive assistance and advice in processing the complaint.
- Out-of-court settlement of disputes
- If the complaint made to the seller is unsuccessful, the consumer can choose to activate out-of-court settlement procedures for disputes through the Chambers of Commerce or the ADOC, or submit a request for mediation pursuant to Legislative Decree no. 28/2010 with a public or private mediation body registered in the appropriate Register at the Ministry of Justice.
- Judicial settlement of disputes
- In the event of a negative outcome of the complaint, the consumer has in any case the right to take legal action directly against the seller, and in particular in the event of the seller’s failure to participate in the mediation or request for termination of the contract.
- The consumer can also report cases of unfair commercial practices to the Competition and Market Authority – also via the toll-free number 800 166 661 – including the violation of recognized rights in terms of after-sales guarantees.
Does the guarantee apply to those with a VAT number? | How does the minimum guarantee work?
Unfortunately the answer is no. The protection of the legal guarantee is reserved exclusively for consumers and consequently applies only to contracts between consumer and seller. In the case of contracts between private individuals, between companies, associations or professionals with a VAT number, the Civil Code.
This concludes our article. Now you will certainly no longer have any doubts about how the minimum guarantee works and you will easily be able to assert your rights against the seller.
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