Warranty and guarantee

Warranty and guarantee

Guarantee and warranty: claims against manufacturer and retailer

The situation is familiar to almost everyone: You buy the latest technology in the form of a smartphone, laptop or TV and suddenly, from one day to the next, the expensive item no longer works. How do warranty and guarantee work? To whom one turns now best? To the seller or the manufacturer? What are your rights and how long can you claim them??

Warranty and guarantee are often used as synonymous terms, but have a different content. Legal warranty is another term for defect rights and describes claims of the buyer against the seller. A guarantee, on the other hand, is usually given by the manufacturer and exists alongside the rights under the warranty.

Warranty is the right of defect against the dealer

The warranty right is between the seller and the buyer for a warranty period of 24 months. This two-year warranty period is prescribed by law and can not be shortened by the dealer in principle. Warranty law covers defects in the purchased item and includes the right to repair, possibly a reduction in the purchase price, a possibility to withdraw from the purchase contract or even claims for damages.

Legal warranty is available to the buyer if the smartphone or laptop already had a defect when purchased and the buyer notices it within the 24-month warranty period. Since it is difficult to prove that an item was already defective at the time of purchase, the law helps the buyer out. In the first six months after the sale, the seller must prove that the item was not defective when it crossed his counter. Only after the seventh month the burden of proof is again with the buyer. He must then prove that the goods were already defective at the time of purchase.

If the new television does not work from one day to the next, the question often arises: Is this a case of warranty or guarantee?? (Photo: ymgerman/fotolia)

Warranty can be given by the manufacturer and by the dealer

A warranty, on the other hand, is not prescribed by law as mandatory. However, both the seller and the manufacturer can grant this for a purchased item as a gesture of goodwill. A warranty is to be understood as a promise. Namely, that an item retains certain properties for a certain period of time (for example, proper functioning of the software on a laptop). How long this is valid for a certain thing depends on the warranty agreement of the seller or the manufacturer. A warranty period of 12 months is often agreed.

If a defect occurs in the purchased item within the warranty period, it is irrelevant whether the defect already existed at the time of purchase or only arose afterwards. Namely, the seller or the dealer has committed with the warranty to repair any defect – unless it was caused by the buyer intentionally.

The rights from the warranty exist alongside the warranty right, so that the buyer can basically choose against whom he directs his claim for repair. Within the warranty period, it is advisable to take action against the manufacturer (or the seller who issued the warranty), because in this case the buyer does not have to prove that the goods were already defective at the time of purchase.

Disclaimer as counterpart to warranty and guarantee

The counterpart to warranty and guarantee is the exclusion of liability. In the case of a purchase, it can be agreed that the seller is not liable for defects in the purchased item. Such exclusion does not apply if the seller is aware that the goods have defects and he fraudulently conceals them. Or if he has given a guarantee with regard to the defect.

You have further questions? Put it to a lawyer:

(1,99 EUR/Min* | 07:00 – 01:00Uhr) *inkl. 19% VAT from the fixed network of Deutsche Telekom; if applicable. different prices from mobile phone networks; this service is not provided by us, but by Deutsche Anwaltshotline AG.

If the seller is a businessman and the buyer a private person (consumer), no disclaimer can be agreed at all. The law provides in the case rather that the consumer must be protected.

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