Everyone has the right to receive a product that is up to standard
Guarantees. This is how they work! From 8 to 12 November 2010, ConsuWijzer (the Dutch Information Line for Consumers) and Juridisch Loket (the Legal Aid and Advice Centre) will be holding an event entitled 'Recht op Rechtdagen' [Know your rights]. The theme of the event will be "all about guarantees".
Many consumers are simply unaware or insufficiently aware of the fact that they are always entitled to receive a product that is up to standard, even once the guarantee period has expired. That is why ConsuWijzer and Juridisch Loket will be holding an event entitled 'Recht op Rechtdagen' [Know your rights]. The event will take place from 8 to 12 November 2010 and will focus on the subject of guarantees. At the event, advisers from ConsuWijzer and Juridisch Loket will be on hand to answer questions from consumers about issues relating to guarantees and will provide free assistance to members of the public in order to help them receive what they are entitled to.
ConsuWijzer and Juridisch Loket regularly receive complaints about products that have malfunctioned. During the first three quarters of 2010, ConsuWijzer received almost 8000 reports of this type. The majority of questions related to the rights of the consumer in a specific situation. The products that were referred to most often were televisions, laptops, washing machines and laundry dryers.
All of the reports were submitted by consumers who had returned to the retailer with a defective product, only to be told that the guarantee had expired or that the purchaser ought to contact the manufacturer in order make his/her complaint. The result of this is that the consumer is left with a product that is faulty or that does not work properly, even though the law is definitely on the consumer's side. Pauline Bijlenga, Head of ConsuWijzer explains: "It is regrettable that consumers are sometimes fobbed off and do not receive the service to which they are entitled. This week, our aim is to make consumers more aware of their rights, as well as encouraging them to take action. We also want to help salespeople and service departments to become more aware of the rights enjoyed by consumers and of the retailer's obligations in relation to guarantees. Consumers have the right to receive a product that is up to standard, even once the guarantee period has expired."
Help from technical and legal experts is on hand at nine different locations
Consumers can take their defective household appliances or electronic products to one of nine sites of the Legal Aid and Advice Centre and can receive free technical advice. An impartial technical expert will be on hand to take a look at the defective item, such as a DVD player or laptop, entirely without obligation. In order to provide this service, the two organisations have joined forces with Uneto-VNI, the sector-based organisation for technical retailers. Legal advisers from ConsuWijzer and Juridisch Loket will also be on hand to assist consumers with issues relating to guarantees and to provide them with relevant legal advice. Consumers can speak to the experts on the following dates:
- 8 November in Rotterdam and Enschede;
- 9 November in Amsterdam and Breda;
- 10 November in Arnhem and Den Bosch;
- 11 November in The Hague and Heerlen;
- 12 November in Leeuwarden.
Know your Rights days on guarantees
From 8 to 12 November 2010, Juridisch Loket and ConsuWijzer will also be present at the other offices of Juridisch Loket in order to provide additional assistance in relation to guarantees. Jan Albert Waal, the General Manager of Juridisch Loket explains: "We regularly receive questions from consumers about defective products and what a consumer's rights are in that situation. What we then do is to advise them about their rights and what types of action they can undertake. At the "Know your Rights" events about guarantees, we will also be providing additional services at our offices. This may even include helping customers make a call to the retailer where they purchased the product or by helping them to draw up a letter of complaint.
Guarantees. This is how they work!
The following are the most important rules relating to guarantees:
- Consumers always have the right to receive a product that is up to standard.
- This even applies once the guarantee period has expired.
- The salesperson is the first point of contact.
- Take action quickly - the quicker the better.
About ConsuWijzer, Juridisch Loket and Uneto-VNI
ConsuWijzer: Practical advice from the government about your rights as a consumer.
- ConsuWijzer website (in Dutch)
- Telephone +31 (0)88 0707070 (national rate)
Juridisch Loket: Free legal advice and information for everyone.
- Juridisch Loket website (in Dutch)
- Or visit one of the thirty offices of Juridisch Loket. There is no need to make an appointment. The offices are open from Monday to Friday from 09.00 to 17.00.
- Telephone: 0900 8020 (€0.10 per minute, open untill 20.00)
Uneto-VNI is the sector-based organisation for the installation and technical retail sector.