In Polish law, in accordance with European standards, the consumer is a special figure and is surrounded by legal protection from the legislator. A consumer is considered to be a natural person who makes a transaction with a trader that is not directly related to their economic or professional activity. In other words, purchases are only made for natural persons and not for their professional activities. In opposition to the consumer is then the entrepreneur who sells something as a professional.
When the transaction goes smoothly and the object of the transaction does not show any physical or legal defects (the object has a legal defect is owned by a third party; it is encumbered with the right of a third party or there are restrictions on the use or disposal of the thing, and this results from the decision or judgment of the competent authority), then it's great, one can say that the deal was struck.
However, it is not certain whether everything will always be to the consumer's liking - the purchased goods may be subject to one of the above defects, which may not always be revealed immediately after purchase. What then? Then the protected consumer has, most often two, sources of protection from the fact that he is a consumer. Let's start with the protection guaranteed by law - that is, by Polish law. We are talking about warranty and guarantee.
Warranty - "obligatory warranty for consumers, amounting to 2 years of liability of the seller for non-compliance of the goods with the object of the contract (physical and legal defects)". In Poland, warranty is regulated in terms of law by the Civil Code (Act of 1964 with subsequent amendments. A physical defect consists in the non-conformity of the thing (goods) with the contract." (source: Warranty - E-commerce Dictionary)
Warranty applies when the goods are subject to a physical or legal defect and lasts 2 years for new movable goods (one year for used goods) and 5 years for immovable goods. What can we get from the Seller thanks to it? Quite a wide range of services, starting from repairing or replacing the goods with a new one, through reducing the price, ending with withdrawing from the contract.
To make a warranty claim, you will need proof of purchase. With such proof, no later than one year from the discovery of the defect, we go to the seller, who is obliged to inform us about the entire procedure. We will not wait longer than 14 days for an answer - this is what the law says.
Guarantee - "voluntary statement of an entrepreneur, usually a manufacturer, distributor of goods, concerning the quality of the offered product". The guarantee is the most common, although not obligatory, extension of consumer protection, in which the guarantor undertakes to ensure a certain quality, standard of using the thing for a certain period of time. The guarantor is the entity providing the guarantee. (source: Guarantee - E-commerce Dictionary)
The warranty is a certain minimum of protection, which, however, can be extended by sellers and entrepreneurs. Such an extension (the most popular) is the guarantee. It is a voluntary obligation of the manufacturer (in the case of the warranty, it was about the seller) to ensure a certain quality, standard of using the thing for a certain period of time.
The warranty period can be very different, so it is always worth taking special care of the warranty statement. The one received at the time of purchase is a certificate of the guarantor's commitment. In addition to the time, it also specifies the territory on which the warranty applies, the name and address of the guarantor or the data necessary to make a warranty claim. Losing the warranty statement does not deprive the claims completely, but significantly complicates any actions taken on its basis.
Comparing the consumer tools described above, it is clear that despite similar purposes - they differ. This works to the benefit of the buyer, as both warranty and guarantee can be used independently. Choosing one does not exclude the use of the other.
It will not always be the case that both of them will be available, which is associated with the fact that the warranty is voluntary, so not every guarantor decides to take it. The warranty, on the other hand, may last longer than the warranty, giving assurance of the solidity of the purchased goods.
In conclusion, it cannot be said which of the above means is better. They are different and depending on the goods - one may work better, the other worse. However, it is worth bearing in mind that both the warranty and the guarantee are intended to protect the interests of the consumer, i.e. the weaker party in commercial relations, which in order to even out the chances, must consistently know and use its rights.
The article was prepared by the Law Office of Arkadiusz Jaskuła, which provides legal services for companies, also for SOTE and our customers: www.adwokat-jaskula.pl
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