Recommendations and advice in order to help consumers to better understand their rights.
The "Black Friday" and the "Cyber Monday" are held on November 23 and 26: two days of discounts that have already become the kick-off of the Christmas shopping campaign. The European Consumer Center in Spain (ECC-Spain) helps citizens in order to understand what their rights as consumers are when they buy in Europe.
Recommendations and consumer rights:
- Before buying, it is recommended to make the list of the products that the consumer want to buy, determine the price that can be paid for them, compare the products in different establishments and make a prior follow-up of those goods in advance.
- Stores must provide accurate and sufficient information to make an adequate purchase decision. Hiding important information or giving false information is an unfair commercial practice.
- The price of an offer must include all taxes and shipping costs. If there are additional costs that cannot be determined in advance, the consumer should be informed properly.
- In relation to discounted products, the original price and / or the percentage of the reduction must be indicated.
- The guarantee of the discounted products should not vary with respect to the non-discounted ones. The minimum legal guarantee time for new products is two years, while for second-hand products, the guarantee is twelve months. According to EU regulations, consumers are always entitled to this guarantee at no cost to all purchases made in the EU, Iceland, Norway or Liechtenstein.
- The seller is obliged to repair, replace, make a discount or reimburse the amount of the purchase whenever the product is defective or does not correspond to what it was announced. As a general rule, you can only request a full or partial refund if it is not possible to repair or replace the product.
- Reduced products must have the same quality as a new one.
- The contractual clauses must be written in a clear and understandable language. Any ambiguity will always be interpreted in favor of the consumer. If the conditions of a contract are unfair, they will not be binding.
- On sales, stores may apply some "special conditions". In these cases, consumer must be informed clearly and visibly. Anyway, it is always important to read the terms and conditions.
- It is recommended to make secure online purchases, that is, in web pages that start with “https”.
- It is recommended to make secure payments, for example with a credit card, and to avoid bank transfers.
- If you have purchased a product or service on the Internet or outside a commercial establishment (by phone, mail or from a door-to-door salesperson), you are also entitled to cancel and return the order within 14 days, for whatever reason and without justification. In these cases, customer must make the corresponding return and the trader will be obliged to return the sums paid by the consumer without penalization. This is known as the right of withdrawal. However, there are exceptions to the right of withdrawal, both for distance contracts and for off-premises contracts.
- It is always recommended to keep the receipt.
- Consumers residing in the European Union, Norway or Iceland who have a problem with their cross-border purchases made in a company based in another EU Member State, Norway or Iceland, can contact the European Consumer Center for help and advice for free.