The warranty policy is one of the important contents, having a significant impact on consumers’ decision to purchase goods and services (hereinafter referred to as “products”), especially in the context of the market. more and more products with high prices, complex and modern technology content. However, in reality, complaints about warranty are the regular content that accounts for a large proportion of the total number of complaints sent to the Department of Competition and Consumer Protection (Ministry of Industry and Trade).
In order to help consumers as well as other subjects understand, comply and better implement the provisions of the law on product warranty liability, the following article will clarify the provisions of the law on product protection. consumer rights as well as analyzing common violations in practice to point out the necessary notes for consumers, business individuals, and organizations in the process of interacting with each other.
According to the provisions of Article 446 of the Civil Code 2015 and Article 21 of the Law on Protection of Consumer Rights 2010, amended and supplemented in 2018, the warranty is not a compulsory responsibility for all businesses. Accordingly, there are two cases where warranty liability arises, including agreement of the parties; or provisions of law. Thus, products purchased and used by consumers may fall into one of two cases: warranted or non-warranty. Consumers should note this issue to verify information with the product supplier right before conducting a purchase transaction.
In the case of products with warranties, business organizations and individuals are responsible for providing user manuals; conditions, deadlines, locations, and procedures as prescribed in Article 12 of the Law on Protection of Consumer Rights. In other words, business organizations and individuals need to provide consumers with warranty books, or warranty certificates for all of the contents mentioned above for the sale of warranted products.
Currently, to enhance competitiveness, most business organizations and individuals actively issue warranty policies. The performance of this responsibility largely comes from the voluntary of business organizations and individuals (except for cases where the law in some fields is required to carry out warranty such as warranty for houses according to the Law on Housing 2014). However, in reality, many organizations and individuals have not yet strictly implemented the provisions of Articles 21 and 12 of the Law on Consumer Protection and have violated the provisions of the law on warranty liability. Here are some typical violations of warranty liability:
Firstly, do not provide consumers with the warranty paper specifying the warranty duration and conditions; do not provide the warranty receipt clearly stating the warranty duration:
Accordingly, the warranty facility usually only provides a product receipt and does not specify the time to complete the repair for the reason that the product must be returned to the factory for inspection. Consumers had to wait a long time but there was no response from the warranty facility. Obviously, in this case, the warranty facility has violated the regulations on providing consumers with a warranty paper specifying the warranty period specified in Article 21 of the Law on Consumer Protection. However, on the consumer side, in order to be able to protect their own legal rights, they themselves need to ask the warranty facility to provide a warranty receipt if not provided, carefully check the contents. on the warranty receipt immediately after handing over the product to claim for warranty. If the warranty receipt does not specify the time to complete the warranty, the consumer needs to request additional information and need a confirmation from the representative of the warranty facility.
Second, do not provide consumers with similar goods, components, and accessories for temporary use or do not provide other forms of settlement accepted by consumers during the implementation of the warranty:
This is a frequent case in practice, partly because business organizations and individuals have not fully grasped the legal provisions on warranty liability, and partly if this regulation is strictly followed, will incur additional costs for business organizations and individuals because they have to equip additional backup products to provide consumers with temporary use during the warranty period. Therefore, in these cases, consumers themselves need to understand the regulations so that they can effectively apply them to claim their legitimate rights. Consumers can ask the warranty facility to provide products for temporary use or suggest other forms of settlement that are suitable for them.
Third, do not exchange new similar goods, components, or accessories, or take back the goods give money back to consumers in the case where the warranty is implemented 03 times or more within the warranty duration as to goods, components, or accessories without fixing the error or in the case where time for warranty implementation run out while failing to repair or solve the error:
The regulation that business organizations and individuals are responsible for exchanging or recovering goods and returning money to consumers in the above case is a very new point of the Law on Protection of Consumer Rights. This regulation is to partly limit the business organizations and individuals providing poor quality goods, abusing the extension of the warranty period, the warranty period to wait for the products to expire warranty and thereby have a reason to refuse warranty obligations for subsequent failures.
Fourth, do not bear the cost of repairs and bear freight to transport goods, components, or accessories to the place of warranty, and freight to transport them from the place of warranty to the residence of the consumer:
Compared to the above acts, this behavior is more common but it is also difficult to handle, especially in cases where business organizations and individuals refuse to pay the cost of transporting goods, components, and accessories. from the consumer’s place of residence to the place of warranty and vice versa. In most cases of warranty, the manufacturer suggests that the buyer must bring the product directly to the service center and does not care about the cost to the consumer. Only a few items of great value, difficult to transport such as TVs, refrigerators, washing machines, etc., many manufacturers send technicians to consumers’ homes to check and decide the warranty, as well as bear the costs associated with shipping and repairing the product. This is a violation of the provisions on warranty liability specified in Clause 6, Article 21 of the Law on Protection of Consumer Rights.
Fifth, disclaim responsibility for the warranty of goods, components, or accessories to consumers even in the event of authorizing other organizations or individuals to perform the warranty:
In this case, it is common for consumers to send a warranty claim to a service center (Authorized by the supplier), and the response center no longer receives the supplier’s product warranty authorization. Consumers send back a warranty claim to the supplier, but it is not resolved on the grounds that they are only a seller, have no warranty function, and do not have the technical staff to repair. However, according to the law, consumers have the right to ask the supplier to be responsible for the warranty even if they have authorized other organizations or individuals to perform the warranty.
Sixth, fail to perform, improperly performing, or incompletely performing warranty responsibilities for goods, components, and accessories committed to consumers:
In many cases, business organizations and individuals agree to only provide the warranty in the direction of free repair labor costs, while consumers have to pay other costs such as the cost of replacing new components and accessories in the process. repair of goods covered by the warranty. In this case, the warranty facility is doing wrong with the regulations on warranty liability.
Seventh, to refuse warranty because it thinks that goods, components, and accessories (previously under warranty and replaced/exchanged) have exceeded the warranty period according to the previous warranty contract:
According to the provisions of the Law on Protection of Consumer Rights, the warranty period is not included in the warranty period for goods, components, and accessories. In case a business organization or individual replaces components, accessories, or exchanges new goods, the warranty period for such components, accessories or goods shall be counted from the time of replacement of components, accessories, or goods. exchange for new goods. Thus, it should be noted that when replacing or exchanging new goods, components, and accessories, the remaining warranty period of old goods, components and accessories will not be imposed on goods, components, or this new accessory.
Thus, in fact, many business organizations and individuals have not yet thoughtfully implemented the provisions of Articles 21 and 12 of the Law on Consumer Protection, although the Government has issued Decree No. 98/ 2020/ND-CP dated August 26, 2020, prescribing penalties for administrative violations against regulations on commerce, production and trade in counterfeit and prohibited goods, and protection of consumer rights, in which, regulating business organizations and individuals violating the warranty responsibility may be fined from 5 million to 100 million dong depending on the value of related goods, components and accessories. For cases where business organizations and individuals do not provide information on the ability to supply replacement parts and accessories as prescribed, or do not provide instructions for use, or do not provide information on conditions and time warranty period, location, and procedures, in case the product has a warranty as prescribed, a fine of between 10 million and 20 million dong; In case of repeated violations or recidivism, additional sanctions will be applied. Accordingly, in order to limit and minimize violations of product warranty liability, business organizations and individuals need to understand and know how to promptly apply the provisions of the law on protection of customer rights and contribute to building a healthy and sustainable consumption environment.
This is the article advising on “Product warranty and manufacturers’ responsibilities to consumers” by Apra Law Firm. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the hotline for further advice and support.
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