Consumer Sales Act
The Consumer Sales Act applies when a business sells products to you. The law contains rules about what to do if a product is defective and what you can demand of the business.
The law is non-optional to your benefit. In other words, a business may not offer you poorer terms than the law specifies. The law also applies to used and discounted products.
Areas of applicability
- Purchasing food, clothing, furniture, cars and other moveable property.
- Exchanging moveable property.
- Ordering a product to be manufactured, such as a specially constructed boat.
Areas of non-applicability
- Purchases between you and another individual.
- Purchases of real property.
- Purchases of leasehold, tenancy and other rights of use.
If you have ordered a washing machine, etc., and it is not delivered on time, you can
- Hold back payment.
- Demand that the business complete the purchase and deliver the product.
- Cancel the purchase if the delay seriously impacts your life.
- Demand damages.
You always have the right to cancel a purchase before the product is delivered to you. The business cannot demand at that point that you complete the purchase and pay for the product. However, the business is entitled to demand compensation from you if it incurred expenses that were associated with the order.
If your product is defective, you can
- Demand that it be repaired.
- Demand that the business send you an equivalent product.
- Demand compensation or a discount to correct the defect.
- Cancel the purchase and get your money back if the defect seriously impacts your life.
- Hold back as much of the payment as necessary to serve as security for your demand.
The business has the right to repair the product or give you an equivalent one, assuming that it can do so within a reasonable period of time and without causing you additional inconvenience.
You are entitled to receive compensation for expenses that you incurred due to a defective product. You can also obtain compensation if something belonging to you or your family has been damaged, such as when a washing machine leaks onto your floor.
When is a product defective?
A product is defective if
- Its quantity, quality, etc., differs from what you and the business agreed to.
- The business did not tell you about missing features.
- The business has installed the product improperly.
The business is liable for defects that the product had when you bought or received it. A defect that shows up within six months is assumed to have been there when you received it unless the business can prove otherwise. After six months, the burden of proof is on you to show that the defect was there when you received the product.
The business is not liable for defects that you have caused by neglecting the product, failing to follow the maintenance instructions, etc.
Filing a complaint about a defective product
You must file a complaint with the business about a defect within a reasonable period of time after you discover it. You must also explain why you think the product is defective. Filing a complaint within two months after discovering the defect is always considered a reasonable period of time. You forfeit your right to file a complaint three years after the purchase.
If the business does not follow the law
If you and the business cannot reach agreement, file a report with the National Board for Consumer Disputes (ARN), which will examine the dispute free of charge. It is a good idea to save receipts, e-mail correspondence and other evidence.
An ordinary court of law can also hear the dispute, but you will have to pay a petition fee and possibly legal expenses as well.
Klagoguiden to the rescue
Klagoguiden is a simple online tool to help you file a complaint about a product or service.
Go to Klagoguiden
- Proofread 14 January 2015