When we buy something in a shop, it can turn out the product we bought is defective. In such case, we, as consumers and independent of the entrepreneur, may exercise our right of complaint in the form of warranty (in every circumstances) or guarantee (if granted).
In practice , we may demand the goods be brought into conformity with the agreement (e.g. by means of replacing or repairing a defective good) or demand the return of all, or part, of funds paid . The refund may be executed through requesting the price to be lowered or by making a statement on withdrawing from the agreement that must result in reimbursement.
If we wish to exercise a warranty, we have to remember about statutory deadlines. Basically, the seller will be liable for a defective good if the defect is declared within 2 years of the good’s delivery. On the other hand, in the case of real estate this deadline is 5 years and in the case of used commodities the seller may limit the term in which he is held liable to one year. The aforementioned deadlines will not be applicable if the seller fraudulently concealed defects of a good.
But what if the seller does not accept our warranty-based complaint? As was indicated above, we may exercise our guarantee if such guarantee was granted. A guarantee may be granted in any form, for example orally or by a statement made in the advertisement. In such cases, however, we may find it difficult to prove the existence of a guarantee. Therefore, we recommend requesting guarantees be in writing.
However, what about the form of making a complaint? The law is quite liberal in this respect since such complaint may be made in any form. Most importantly – especially in light of the most recent decision of the President of the Office of the Competition and Consumer Protection – a fiscal receipt will not be necessary in order to effectively submit a complaint. We can also make use of any other evidence that a specific good was purchased from a given seller, for example documents confirming operations on our payment card, e-mail correspondence, witnesses or recordings from CCTV cameras. Therefore, the seller is not allowed to consider a complaint dependent upon presenting a fiscal receipt.
In the aforementioned decision of the President of the Office of the Competition and Consumer Protection (the full decision is available here: https://uokik.gov.pl/download.php?plik=16460), we read as follows:
In the opinion of the President of the Office of the Competition and Consumer Protection, information that “A RECEIPT IS NECESSARY FOR CLAIM PROCEDURE” placed on fiscal receipts provided to consumers after making purchases in stationary shops of an entrepreneur may be misleading to consumers as to the rights granted to consumers as regards submitting complaints as to non-conformity with the agreement or existence of defects in a purchased commodity.
What’s interesting, in the period of two years since the questioned practice was halted, a shop concerned by the decision will be obliged to place the following information on receipts: “A receipt may facilitate submitting a complaint, but it is by no means necessary to submit a complaint.” Such information is to be placed also on the shop’s website, information leaflets and posters inside the shop.
Finally, it should be repeated: the absence of any guarantee documentation or fiscal receipt does not deprive the consumer of their statutory rights, but may result in evidence problems…