Consumer Protection in Poland

Protecting Shoppers

Protecting Shoppers

All consumers in the EU have rights basing on a product’s warranty or in fact its implied warranty. This is effective both in the local country and abroad, however, it appeared that claiming any rights or transferring responsibility for a product’s fault from the manufacturer to the consumer (or vice versa) is sometimes problematic. The aim of implemented consumer directives was to guarantee minimal protection to the buyer in each EU state. In individual cases, the level of protection can be increased, as in the case of Poland, where a seller is responsible to the buyer for two years after the purchase date. Although such time frame is applied also in France, Germany, Italy and the Czech Republic, Poland is way behind countries such as Sweden (three years), Norway (five years), Great Britain (six years), Holland and France (where a complaint can be lodged based on the estimated time of the product’s use). What is more, in cases where a product is used in a state where it had been bought, the period of the complaint’s validity is one year in Poland, while in most EU states it is two years. On the other hand, the period of time where the burden of proof lies on the side of the entrepreneur is somewhat longer in Poland (one year from the date of purchase) compared to six months in most EU states. Another advantage for consumers in Poland is that when they notice that a product is faulty they have one year to file a complaint, whereas in other EU consumers should notify the seller “within a reasonable period of time” from noticing the damage, which frequently generates additional conflict. As in most EU states, consumers in Poland have the right to demand that their product be exchanged or repaired if it is defective, and when the product’s fault precludes its full use, they are privileged to claim their money be returned. Contrary to rules applied in Slovenia, Finland, and Latvia, a warranty in Poland can be payable, but the advantage in Poland is that clients can ask for a warranty in digital form, while in most EU states a written version is required.


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