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Christmas product warranties

In this Christmas season, where family sharing and gifts, popularly known as “los traídos” or “aguinaldos”, are so frequent,
a number of claims may be filed for defective products or products that do not meet the quality described by their sellers. For this reason, Cuadro Legal, a law firm specialized in consumer law, brings you these recommendations when demanding your product warranties.

What is a product warranty?

The superintendence of industry and commerce. The warranty, under consumer law regulations, is the obligation of the distributor, marketer, transporter and any agent in the distribution chain of the product, to ensure that the product being sold complies with the conditions, qualities and purposes for which it is sold. This definition applies to all types of products (household appliances, clothing, vehicles, video games, toys, etc.).

2. From what date does the product warranty start?

Contrary to what people commonly think, the product warranty does not run from the moment the product is purchased, but starts to run from the moment the product is delivered. In other words, if I buy a vehicle on December 10, 2020, but it is actually delivered to me on December 26 of the same year, the warranty will start to run from December 26, even if I bought it before. It is important to keep this date in mind because there are several commercial establishments that rely on the date of invoicing to reject the guarantees offered.

What can I do with a defective product?

Initially, the repair of the product must be requested, without having to pay any surplus or additional value. If the product is still defective, the consumer may request a refund or an exchange of the product for another product in good condition. This is usually followed to the letter with high value products, such as vehicles and even household appliances, however, retailers, looking for more practical solutions, prefer to skip the first step and proceed directly to the exchange of the product, for example in the case of clothing, video games, among others. This is in order to improve customer experience and service.

Am I obligated to receive bonuses or the balance in products from the same retailer?

The answer is NO, the consumer has the right to the refund of the money, retailers cannot force the final recipient of the product to receive bonuses or balances in favor of the person within the establishment. The end consumer has every right to request a full refund of the money paid, either in cash, transaction or any other form permitted by law.

5. If it is on promotion, does the warranty not apply?

At this particular point, it is necessary to identify the reason for the promotion. If it is an ordinary holiday promotion, i.e., it is simply a discount granted by the mere liberality of the merchant, the warranty applies in full, and the merchant is obligated to honor it. It should be noted that the value covered by the guarantee is the value actually paid.

6. Is the invoice necessary to claim the warranty?

No. The consumer statute does not stipulate the purchase invoice as a requirement for claiming the warranty of any product. Nowadays, with the technological facilities, businesses have the possibility of retrieving this document in their databases. Likewise, the consumer shall have any means of proof available to prove that the product is from said establishment.

7. What to do if the retailer does not honor the warranty?

In case the business does not respond for the warranty offered, Cuadro Legal has lawyers in Medellín who are experts in the subject and we can advise and accompany you throughout the claim process, including the stage of direct settlement between the parties and a possible lawsuit for infringement of consumer rights before the superintendence of industry and commerce.
Written by: Pedro Henao.

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