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Legal guarantee, commercial guarantee and for defects: the guide

Legal guarantee, commercial guarantee and for defects: the guide

Do you want to know how the product warranty works and what is the warranty term to enforce it? Our guide complete we will summarize the legal issues that need to know the legal guarantee, commercial guarantee, and warranty for defects.

What is the guarantee?

A guarantee is a form of protection for the buyers of a good (both in the context of an offline sale and an online sale). With the guarantee, the seller assumes responsibility for defects in the purchased goods, for example by taking charge of the repair. Only defects that the buyer did not know at the time of purchase and those that are not easily recognizable are covered by the guarantee.

There are two forms of guarantee: mandatory and optional. The obligatory guarantees, provided by the law for the seller, are the legal guarantee and the guarantee for defects. The optional guarantee, on the other hand, is the commercial guarantee that the seller grants to the buyer in addition to the mandatory one.

Legal guarantee

The legal guarantee, or guarantee of conformity, covers “consumer goods”, i.e. any movable good purchased by a consumer (with the exception of particular goods such as the supply of water and energy). The consumer is someone who buys for private purposes from a professional seller. For example, anyone who buys a sofa for their home in a shop is a consumer and is entitled to a legal guarantee. On the other hand, anyone who buys a desk for their company is not a consumer.

The legal guarantee covers some defects in the goods, conformity defects. In particular, an asset is not “compliant” if:

  • does not have the qualities promised by the seller and does not conform to the description
  • it does not have the usual characteristics or is not suitable for usual use for a good of the same type
  • (optional) is not suitable for the use desired by the consumer if he had communicated it to the seller

For example, we speak of a lack of conformity if the battery of a smartphone stops working shortly after the purchase or when the seller had promised certain qualities that a purchased car does not possess.

The legal guarantee has a duration of 24 months from the date of delivery for new goods and 12 months for used ones. In the event that a defect occurs during this period, the consumer can contact the seller and request the repair or replacement of the goods at his choice. However, if the chosen remedy is impossible or excessively expensive for the seller, the consumer can ask for a price reduction or termination of the contract.

Warranty for defects

The warranty for defects applies to the purchase and sale of goods purchased by a company or a professional for purposes related to their business (buyer not consumer) and to sales between individuals.

The warranty for defects covers defects that make the good unsuitable for the use for which it is intended (“structural” defect) or that decrease its value. For example, when a car for business use is not accessed or when a used car sold by a private individual has much higher mileage than stated.

When the good has a defect, the buyer can request the termination of the contract or a price reduction in proportion to the defect. In the event of termination, the buyer will have to return the goods and the seller will have to reimburse the buyer for the price paid.

The warranty for defects has a duration of 12 months from the delivery of the goods. To assert his right, the buyer must report the defect within 8 days of discovery.

Commercial guarantee

The commercial guarantee (or conventional guarantee) is granted by the seller in addition to the one required by law. The duration characteristics and the contents can be freely chosen by the seller. The conventional guarantee can be free or paid and can be offered to both consumers and non-consumer buyers. However, when the buyer is a consumer, the seller is bound by the promised guarantee from the moment he advertises it (Article 133 of the Consumer Code).

Useful documents for regulating a sale and for guaranteeing products

The warranty is governed by law; however, it is always best to settle it in writing. In this way, the buyer and the seller will be able to have proof of what has been established in the sales contract or in the conditions of sale. On LexDo.it, you can customize and immediately download all the necessary documents by answering a few simple guided questions:

  • Contract for the sale and purchase of movable goods: to transfer “offline” ownership of any movable property to a buyer and regulate the guarantee for consumers and non-consumers
  • General Conditions of Sale for E-commerce: to regulate the rights and obligations of users of a website or an app and to regulate the guarantee for online purchases