Planning a shopping trip in Europe? Or simply buying a product or service on holiday? You have the same EU-wide consumer rights as in your own EU country, including a 2-year guarantee. European Consumer Centres offer advice which will help you avoid problems or use your rights in case of problems.
What rights on your shopping trips
in the EU?
Wherever you shop in the EU, you have the same set of EU-wide consumer rights as a minimum
Your main EU-wide rights as a shopper
The 2-year guarantee
If a product turns out to be faulty or not as advertised (‘non-conformity’), you have a 2-year guarantee, which means the seller must repair or replace it free of charge.
The 2-year guarantee is an EU-wide minimum, and the laws in some EU countries may offer you longer limitation periods.
[!] In some countries, once the first 6 months of the two-year guarantee period have passed, you may need to prove that the product was faulty or not as advertised when you received it, if the seller contests this. In some countries, there are also deadlines for contacting the seller after discovering the defect.
In addition, many sellers or manufacturers offer their own commercial guarantees , e.g. an “EU warranty” which promises to repair your product in any EU country, e.g. for 1,3 or 5 years). These may be free or for optional purchase.
These additional commercial guarantees are binding and must be written in plain intelligible language.They never replace the minimum 2-year guarantee, which you always have from the seller as your legal right.
Repairs, replacements, refunds
If repair or replacement under the 2-year guarantee rules is not possible within a reasonable time or without inconvenience, you may ask for a refund or a price reduction.
Some EU countries give consumers additional rights.
You must not be charged a higher price for a product or service just because you live in another EU country.
You must not be refused a service (e.g. DVD rental or a holiday booking) simply because you live in a different EU country.
[!] But the refusal may be legal if there are objective reasons for it; also, your access to some services abroad (e.g. some types of insurance) may be more restriced.