Extension of consumer rights – new obligations of entrepreneurs
On September 16, 2022, the first reading of a bill implementing the directives of the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, the so-called Digital Directive (2019/770) and the Goods Directive (2019/771), took place. The aim of the law is to improve the position of consumers when concluding contracts with entrepreneurs for the provision of digital content or digital services and sales contracts.
Definition of digital service
The legislator in the bill introduces a definition of “digital service” – it is:
- generation, processing and storage of or access to data in digital form,
- a service that allows the sharing of data in digital form that has been transmitted or produced by the consumer or other users of the service,
- other forms of interaction using such data.
Examples of digital services would be, for example, cloud services, file hosting, sharing content in audio or video form (including social media).
Warranty and consumer guarantee
The biggest and most significant changes relate to extending the time limits that entitle consumers to assert warranty claims. The draft assumes:
- the period of the presumption that the revealed defect existed at the time of delivery of the goods – an extension from 1 year to 2 years,
- the period of limitation of warranty claims – extension from 2 years to 6 years,
- the possibility of limiting the warranty liability of the seller of a used item – currently the maximum can be limited to 1 year, the bill eliminates this possibility.
Amendments by the Committee on Economy and Development
On September 28, 2022, the bill was being processed by the Committee on Economy and Development, the most significant amendments to the draft include:
- the possibility for an entrepreneur to refuse to repair or replace goods (or services, including digital) if it would be impossible or require excessive costs,
- a proposal to extend the time in which the law would come into force was rejected, and the 14-day deadline remains in effect.