Guarantees on online purchases

Does the product you bought online from a European trader not operate as expected or does it not work at all? No need to panic: European legislation provides you with a two-year legal guarantee during which you can get redress from the seller. 

Sometimes, you can also get redress from the manufacturer, if they provide a commercial warranty for the product.

Legal guarantee

Have you, as a private individual, placed an order with a trader in the EU? You are automatically entitled to a two-year legal guarantee, during which the seller is responsible for any breach in conformity relating to your purchase.

How do you impose your legal guarantee rights? Simple: notify the seller of the defect to your product as soon as it occurs, in writing by e-mail or registered letter.

What can you claim for under the guarantee? That the seller repairs or replaces the product free of charge. Can a trader not comply with this within a reasonable period of time? In that case, the trader has to cancel your order and issue a refund.

Further information on your guarantee rights can be found in the section entitled 'Legal guarantee'.

What about digital purchases?

Did you purchase a film using a streaming service and can you not watch it on your computer? Or did you download music, which turns out to be of poor quality?

Again, you can get redress from the trader if, for example, he did not inform you before your purchase of the way in which the product should be used or about which material and/or software is required to use it.

Provide the trader with proof (screen shot, video, etc.) of the problem. You are entitled to a version that works properly or failing that, a refund.

Commercial warranty?

Traders are entitled to provide or sell commercial warranties or other guarantee extensions - in addition to the legal guarantee. These additional warranties do not replace the legal two-year guarantee.

Commercial warranties or other guarantee extensions are not obligatory. They are of a purely contractual nature. The rules and conditions must be incorporated in writing in a document.

Commercial warranties often do not have the same scope as the legal two-year guarantee: the duration is shorter, specific components or costs are excluded, etc.

Our recommendation: are you offered a commercial warranty or guarantee extension that you have to pay for? Don’t be tempted, unless you are absolutely sure that the additional guarantee offers more than the legal guarantee. 

Find out more about the legal guarantee and the commercial warranty.