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A guarantee means that the seller is responsible for ensuring that a good functions and
maintains its quality for a certain time period. It is always optional for the seller to provide

Usually the guarantee is valid for a certain time period, for example one year. The guarantee
can be formulated to guarantee a particular attribute a good has. It is therefore important to
carefully check the wording and the scope of the guarantee. The seller must provide the
purchaser with clear information as to the content of the guarantee, what it is that is required
to be able to make a claim on the guarantee and that the guarantee does not affect the
purchaser’s rights according to the law. Written information must be provided for the
purchaser. If a good deteriorates during the guarantee period in a way that is covered by the
guarantee, then it is regarded as faulty. You then have, according to the Consumer Purchases
Act, the right to demand:

      that the product is repaired,
      that you receive a replacement product instead,
      a reduction on the price,
      that the purchase is cancelled.

You cannot claim all the above at the same time. In general it is the first two that apply, a
repair or a replacement good. The seller has the right to carry out repairs if it becomes
unreasonably expensive to provide you with a new good.

In order for you to have the right to cancel the purchase, the fault must be regarded as
significant. You also have the right to claim compensation if the faulty good has meant you
have incurred extra costs. But you are always liable to try to keep the costs down.

In order for the seller to avoid responsibility for the guarantee, he has to be able to prove that
the fault is due to, for instance:

      an accident after you received the good,
      want of proper care,
      abnormal use,
      that you failed to follow the care and service instructions.

The guarantee regulations apply even if someone other than the seller, for example the
manufacturer, has issued the guarantee on the seller’s behalf.
Over and above the guarantee, the Consumer Purchases Act applies, according to which you
have up to three years to complain about a fault which was already there when you first
purchased the good. The fact that you may receive a guarantee with a shorter period of
validity does not mean that the time period allowed to submit a complaint is shortened. The
difference is that when the guarantee period has expired you have to prove that the fault
existed when you first purchased the good. Read more about making a complaint in the

Last Reviewed: 2010-03-25