Warranty And Guarantee: What Is What? The 10 Most Important Questions Answered

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Warranty And Guarantee: What Is What? The 10 Most Important Questions Answered
Warranty And Guarantee: What Is What? The 10 Most Important Questions Answered

Video: Warranty And Guarantee: What Is What? The 10 Most Important Questions Answered

Video: Warranty And Guarantee: What Is What? The 10 Most Important Questions Answered
Video: Vocabulary - WARRANTY, GUARANTEE, REBATE, EXCHANGE, CREDIT 2023, September

It's actually quite simple: Manufacturers offer a guarantee voluntarily and it usually covers more than the statutory guarantee.

Their duration is freely selectable, as is their content and scope. Many manufacturers offer free guarantees and the option to extend them for a fee. It is worth paying close attention to the types of damage covered by these guarantees!

In contrast, the warranty obligation is an institute of civil law that can not be excluded so easily. Professional sellers of new items have to vouch for the functionality of their goods for two years. Anyone who sells second-hand goods professionally must also offer a guarantee of at least one year if this has been agreed in the purchase contract or the terms and conditions. If this is not the case, it remains two years.

2. What is the difference between warranty and cancellation?

Withdrawal is something other than a guarantee. The most important difference: For a revocation, there is no need for an error, defect or any other defect. And it is particularly relevant when shopping online. If I go to a store and buy a smartphone or a computer there, there is usually no right of withdrawal.

In addition: A right of withdrawal or return allows you to get your money back immediately after returning the goods. Warranty means that the seller initially has the right to "try again" - either by repair or new delivery.

If I buy a device from Amazon or elsewhere on the Internet, I can completely cancel the transaction within two weeks of receiving the goods, without giving any reason. If the value of the purchase item is less than 40 euros and there is a corresponding note in the terms and conditions or in the purchase contract, the buyer must bear the return shipping costs. Otherwise the seller pays for it.

Another thing that is often confused with the other two is in-store exchanges. If a seller offers "Exchange of undamaged goods within two weeks with a receipt" in his shop, this is pure goodwill and can easily be excluded for individual products or product groups.

3. Does the warranty also apply to sales among private individuals?

The rules of the BGB on warranty law are only mandatory if the seller is an entrepreneur, i.e. acts professionally as a seller. If sales are made from private to private, the warranty right and the associated claims can be excluded.

However, a corresponding passage must be included in the contract for this. Such a clause would be ineffective when buying from an entrepreneur.

However, this only means that the private seller does not have to repair such damage at his own expense that occurs after the purchase. If he does not mention a defect, for example a completely "exhausted" battery on the smartphone or a faulty hard drive on the laptop, he must still be liable.

4. How long do I have the right to repair / exchange in the event of a defect?

The right to warranty in the event of a defect becomes statute-barred after two years. This period begins when the item is delivered to the buyer.

If you receive a new device as a replacement under the warranty, the period for this device will of course start again.

5. Can I get a new device every two years because the old one "unfortunately fell down"? (Or: What damage does the warranty actually cover?)

No. The buyer should be protected against defects, but only against those that originated at the time of delivery by the seller. Everything that happens later is to a certain extent "wear and tear" and is not covered by the warranty. These include, for example, regularly worn batteries, normal signs of wear and the like.

That means: if a smartphone display breaks after 18 months because I dropped it on the floor, that's personal bad luck. However, if it jumps without external influences, because tensions were created in the glass during production, this is a warranty case.

Important: Within the first 6 months after the purchase, it is assumed that the underlying cause of the damage already existed at the time of delivery to the buyer. The seller would have to prove the opposite (lawyers call this " reversal of the burden of proof "). Of course, he can do this very easily if the user is obviously responsible for the damage himself, for example by dropping or otherwise improper use.

6. How often can the seller repair before I can request a replacement device?

The widespread tale of the "right to triple repair" before the dealer has to exchange the goods is nothing more than that: a legend.

It is quite possible that it arose from a mix-up. In fact, after the second unsuccessful repair attempt by the seller, the buyer can usually withdraw from the purchase contract without setting a deadline (see 8. below).

Basically, the buyer can choose whether he would prefer a repair or a replacement device. Both variants must not be associated with additional costs for the buyer. As is often the case in law, there are exceptions.

Especially if it would be disproportionately expensive for the seller or manufacturer to hand over a new device to you, he can decide to "only" repair it. Conversely, it is also possible for him to refuse the repair in favor of an exchange.

There is, however, no blanket right to refuse à la "repair three times and then only exchange".

7. I have heard that all warranty claims can be excluded at auctions. Does this also apply to eBay auctions?

Caution: The sales offers on eBay are popularly called "auctions" and they also run in a similar way - however, according to the Federal Court of Justice, they are not considered "real" auctions. They are treated just like any other sale. Everything that happens beforehand (bids, maximum price, starting price, etc.) is irrelevant.

This means that even with eBay offers, the guarantee can only be excluded by private sellers. Professional providers, on the other hand, are obliged to follow the normal rules. Of course, this also includes the right of withdrawal.

8. What can I do if the seller takes a long time to repair?

Let's say you bought a smartphone and it's broken. It wasn't your fault, the cause was already there when you bought it.

Let us further assume that the seller agrees to repair the smartphone. It is just a minor defect that he can easily fix himself without much effort. Unfortunately, the repair takes longer and you will be put off again and again.

Now you have the opportunity to set a deadline for the seller and threaten to withdraw. The deadline must of course be reasonable - "I want the part by tomorrow" would certainly not be appropriate. In most cases, two weeks should be enough.

If the repair is not completed within this time, you can request your money back and get the smartphone from another dealer. In return, of course, you have to leave the defective device with the seller.

9. What can I do if the seller refuses to repair or replace the device?

Let us assume that everything went as described in No. 8 above. But: The seller does not want to know about a free repair and also strictly refuses to give you a replacement device.

Here it is almost the same as in the previous question, with the difference that you no longer have to set a deadline. After all, the seller has already made it clear that there is no need to worry about repairs. So you can immediately declare the withdrawal and claim your money back.

Of course, in such a case, it will often not be so easy in reality to persuade the dealer if he has not previously recognized the defect and refused to repair it. A little sensitivity is required here - in the end, however, only the way to the court and / or lawyer of your trust remains.

10. The seller says that I have to contact the manufacturer directly with my defective device, it has nothing to do with it. Is that correct?

No. Warranty claims only arise where there is a sales contract. This is the case between buyer and seller, but not between buyer and manufacturer (unless the two coincidentally coincide, for example, if you buy directly in the Apple (online) store).

For its part, the seller does not remain on any repair or replacement costs. He can turn to the manufacturer and have the damage caused.

Finally, an important note: Of course, we do not offer any specific legal advice, but only provide information on some examples of how the warranty rules can be used. We are also not allowed to answer any direct inquiries, not even by email, that relate to your special individual cases.

In addition, we would like to point out that this is only intended to provide a rough overview and no explanation of various details and exceptions has been made. Each case has its own peculiarities and so it may well be that the results are different for some of you.

If you should not get any further, it is best to contact a lawyer of your trust

Survey: refurbished or new?

Flavio Trillo
Flavio Trillo

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