Now a real two-year warranty when you buy something: an answer to the most frequently asked questions

As of June 1, you are really entitled to a full two-year warranty period when you buy something. The burden of proof for a defect is now on the seller. What exactly are the rules like? “De inspecteur” van Radio 2 vat samen wat je zéker moet weten.

What has changed?

The fact that you also received a two-year warranty under the previous law is not quite right. That term was divided into two periods. If a refrigerator or folding seat broke down in the first six months, the law assumed it was a manufacturing defect anyway. You, as a consumer, did not have to come up with evidence. After those six months, that changed. You then had to be able to prove that the defect was not your fault. That a laptop, for example, broke down because there was a problem from the beginning. That was often an impossible task and so in reality you often had only a six-month warranty.

The new law changes that. You can really fall back on a two-year period now. It is up to the seller to prove otherwise. Professor of Consumer Law Reinhard Steennot applauds the change. “Consumers are now exempted from that burden of proof for the full two years after purchase.”

What do I need to do to get a warranty?

Play the game fairly. Did you dropped your smartphone, say so. But if that unit suddenly fails continually for no apparent reason, and the two years are still running, be sure to step to the seller. Don’t let it run its course. You must take steps within two months of the problems surfacing.

After any investigation, the retailer must offer a free repair, or replace the product. If that is not possible, the latter can also return your money or part of it. The cost of the repair must also be proportional. Professor Steennot: “a broken cup holder in a car can be replaced. You cannot, as a consumer, demand that you get a new car.”

Do I have a warranty on loose parts?

Yes, the warranty scheme also applies to the parts that accompany your purchase.

The legal warranty even applies to products you get for free, when you buy your first product. For example, consider a free tablet with the purchase of a television or a free mouse with the purchase of a laptop. Even if you get products for free if you fulfill certain conditions. For example: you take out a sports subscription and you get a heart rate monitor for free. If so, it is covered by a two-year statutory warranty.

The warranty does not apply if you just get the products for free, without prior purchase.

Do I have a warranty on a used purchase?

The seller can set a term of less than two years there, if the consumer is clearly informed.

The minimum warranty period for second-hand goods is one year. That is half the legal term for new items. The seller may apply that rule, but only if he informs the consumer about it clearly and unambiguously. It is therefore not possible that you buy something second-hand without knowing in advance that the warranty period has been shortened.

Do I also get a guarantee on digital purchases?

Legal guarantee rules have now also been laid down for so-called digital services.

  • Goods with digital elements, such as connected smartwatches
  • Digital services such as video-on-demand, streaming, cloud storage
  • A delivery of digital content, e.g. videos, audio recordings, video games
  • A delivery of digital content on a material data carrier such as a DVD, CD, USB sticks

What about stuff ordered before June 1 and delivered after June 1?

The moment at which you close the sale is important to determine which warranty scheme applies. If you ordered it before June 1, 2022, the old arrangement will apply. The burden of proof in the event of a defect is on the consumer after six months. But the term of the warranty does start only from the moment of delivery, once you receive the product.

Does it make sense to take additional warranty?

In addition to the legal 2-year warranty, stores or brands sometimes offer a separate warranty of their own.

This is then called a commercial warranty or the manufacturer’s warranty. That arrangement should never interfere with the legal guarantee rules. Sometimes you get the additional manufacturer’s warranty for free, sometimes you have to pay extra for it. Anyway, there are conditions attached. These are strictly enforced and there are many exceptions. So be sure to read the terms and conditions before accepting the offer.

Do I have a warranty when I buy a pet?

The new guarantee rules no longer apply to live animals.

In the past, animals did fall under the guarantee scheme, but that led to misery. To protect both the consumer and the animal when making a purchase, there will soon be specific warranty rules for animals.

Do you have any questions about warranty? You can find more information on the website of the FOD Economy.


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