How often have you bought something and weren’t happy with it? And then you don’t know what you should and could do. At home you might know exactly what to do and where to go, but here on Gran Canaria not so much. With X-Mas and it’s obligate buying frenzy just around the corner the following article might come in handy just so that you know what to do while and after the purchase.
The following summarized and simplified information does not claim to be complete or replace professional advice, but rather should serve as food for thought.
BEFORE YOU BUY
Think twice. Compare prices, models and conditions in different shops and also the Internet. Only few stores will offer voluntarily within a certain time frame to bring back unused goods without a good reason. Ask for the conditions and a receipt. Check the good when they are handed to you. In case not, complain immediately and in written.
STATUTORY WARRANTY PERIOD
NEW products like cars or washing machines come with a legal 2-years warranty upon delivery. USED products only have a 1-year warranty. And when dealing with a PRIVATE PERSON there are only 6 months. Some shops offer as part of their pitch a longer (even for free) warranty period. Don’t forget to ask if these come with any obligations. After expiration the dealer has to provide replacement parts for at least five years.
When buying on the Internet, the phone, at the door and the likes, you usually have a cooling off period of 7 days. Always use secure payment options.
GOODS ARE BROKEN – WHAT NOW?
These are your rights:
a) You have the right for a free of cost reparation where the seller has to pay shipping, or a free of cost exchange of your goods. You can choose either, unless there is no choice left or it is economically inefficient.
b) If the above mentioned is not applicable you can ask for a discount, or
c) cancel the contract and ask your money back, if you are dealing with an important failure.
After finding a failure you have TWO months to complain. Reparations have to be done within a reasonable period. You have 6 months to complain the reparation.
CASE OF DISPUTE
Many times it is enough to ask for the official complaint sheet (Hoja de Reclamación) or the supervisor. In any case stay calm. Another step would be the community consumer defense office (OMIC) or the arbitration board “Sistema Arbitral de Consumo”. In difficult cases and with large sums you are best off with a lawyer.