The warranty period for new items will remain two years. However, if the defect appears within the first year after the purchase of the goods, it will be assumed that the goods had a factory defect or arose when it was delivered to the customer. If the merchant claims that the defect was caused by the customer through improper use, he must prove it. Better with expert opinion. “One negative sentence, written into the complaint protocol by the cashier, who did not look into the matter properly, is not enough,” says Eduarda Hekšová of the consumer organization dTest about the planned rules.
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In order to tighten complaints, it is necessary to change the Civil Code. The previous council did not succeed in this, and the new council should do it ASAP so that Czech law is unified with EU rules.
Who destroyed the goods?
The interesting thing is that a similar system is already in operation in our country, except that it is shorter and customers do not know much about it. In addition to the standard warranty, there is now a so-called legal liability for defects. In this case, the right to defective performance can be exercised within six months of purchase. “The six-month period from receipt of the goods is very important to the complaint, as there is a rebuttable presumption that the goods were indeed defective at the time of receipt, if they appeared within those six months,” says AZ Legal. At this time, the buyer does not have to prove that the goods are defective, since their presence is assumed.
In the first half of the year following the purchase, the same merchant who wants to release himself from liability for defects must therefore prove that the goods were sound and that the defect was caused by the buyer by using them improperly. “Consumers have the opportunity to speak out today,” Viktor Vodicka, director of the Czech Consumers Association, assured Denek.
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But customers and retailers often have no idea. “In our counseling center, we often have to explain that during those six months it is up to the merchant to prove that the merchandise was not defective,” he said.
However, if MPs amend the code, consumers will be given “Good” for another six months, during which the obligation of the selling party to prove the safety of the product will be extended. “It is important that expert opinions are issued by merchants, not consumers, unless there is an apparent defect or mistreatment by users,” Vodička says.
When a merchant makes a dead beetle
Since people are often unaware of their rights, small merchants in particular usually make a “dead beetle” and reject the claims outright. According to Vodička, this should change with the adoption of new legislation. “This will have an impact on the merchants at least to cooperate more with the service or the manufacturer to ensure that the complaint is handled properly,” Vodička said.
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The new rules are based on a European directive aimed at empowering consumers. It even allows the “burden of proof” to be passed on to traders for up to two years. “In the Czech Republic, we have agreed on a more moderate annual option as a compromise between the interests of sellers and consumers. We consider this compromise reasonable,” said Tomas Brosza, President of the Dinek Trade and Tourism Association.
According to Vodička, the change is likely to have a significant impact mainly on single-use goods or short-lived goods purchased online. “If it comes from somewhere in Southeast Asia, it will be very difficult for an online retailer to secure these commitments,” Vodička added.
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