Starting in January, when you buy a mobile phone or subscribe to a streaming service, your warranty will change. Along the same lines, if you buy a house, the warranty period will also change. In addition, consumers will also be better protected if they buy on a marketplace platform, DECO said.
1. The warranty period for personal goods is changed to three years
At the moment the warranty period is two years but it will change in January to three years; however, if the product has damage in the third year, the consumer will have to prove that such a problem already existed at the time the good was delivered.
From DECO’s point of view, this change is not enough to protect consumers’ rights, as it does “not bring any relevant changes to consumers, not giving the necessary motivation to the market to contribute to the production of more durable goods and fight premature obsolescence”.
2. Extra warranty period on repaired goods
When you send a good to be repaired it will benefit from an additional six months warranty period for each repair, up to a limit of four repairs, and the professional must provide this information to the consumer.
3. Right of rejection
If the fault is found within 30 days after the delivery of the goods, the consumer may request immediate replacement of the product or termination of the contract.
3. Digital content and services
Rules on digital content and services were introduced, providing for the consumer's right to terminate the contract in case of non-delivery and in accordance with certain rules, as well as in case of non-compliance.
In the event of non-compliance of digital content and services, such as computer programmes, applications, video files, audio, music, digital games or electronic books, among others, the consumer will have the right to force the company to start complying with, for price reduction and contract termination.
In the case of contracts that provide for a single act of supplying digital content or services, for example, if the consumer downloads an e-book and stores it on his personal device. Or in the case of, or in a series of individual acts of providing digital content or service, for example, when the consumer receives a link to periodically download a new electronic book, the professional is responsible for non-compliance within two years from the date of the supply.
In contracts where a continuous supply is agreed for a certain period (for example, a cloud storage contract for a certain period), the professional will be responsible for non-compliances during the contract.
4. Warranty period for real property is extended to 10 years anytime there is a non-compliance with structural constructive elements
For many years, DECO has been pressing hard for the need for this change, which will now take 10 years in terms of structural elements, which will still have to be established by the Government through an ordinance. For the others, it will be maintained for five years.
5. Liability of online providers
DECO welcomes these new rules. “It is the first step being taken to face the problems that arose with the growth of e-commerce, namely, the platforms known as Marketplace – platforms that allow the purchase of different products or services from different companies within the same website.
Thus, the Marketplace in a digital environment has new rules. If these platforms have a predominant influence on the contracts, they will share responsibility for the guarantees, that is, the websites themselves are responsible for the lack of conformity of the digital goods, content or services. However, for this to happen, they need to have a predominant influence on the contract, this occurs when the agreement is concluded exclusively through this platform or when the terms of the deal or the price to be paid are essentially determined or influenced by it; etc.
In line with what has been shown by DECO, in order to contribute to a greater durability of the goods and make repair possible, producers must provide the parts necessary for the repair of the goods purchased by the consumer, for a period of ten years after the last product has been placed on the market. However, there are some exceptions, like for perishables goods.
7. How long do repairs take?
Although the repair or replacement period should not exceed 30 days, in situations where the nature or complexity of the goods, the seriousness of the damage or the steps that justify a longer period, such period may exceed the period of 30 days, previously considered maximum.
What do we still need to change?
DECO has defended the implementation of a longer warranty period, defending a period of five years to all personal property, along with a longer period whenever durability requirements are established as being higher.
Furthermore, DECO is also concerned with protecting the consumer from obsolescence practices, arguing that the consumer is still not properly protected and the importance of establishing sufficient sanctions that protect consumers and ensure the design of more durable products.
Paula Martins is a fully qualified journalist, who finds writing a means of self-expression. She studied Journalism and Communication at University of Coimbra and recently Law in the Algarve. Press card: 8252