I bought a product – does it have a warranty? If it has a defect, can I change it? What if the purchase was made online? What if the product came from another country? These are some very common consumer doubts that have intensified with the increase, during the Coronavirus pandemic, of purchases made over the internet. In 2020 alone, according to a survey by Ebit/Nielsen, 13 million people joined this modality in Brazil.
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First of all, a simple fact: by law, all products are guaranteed. In the absence of one, in fact, they have three types of guarantees that guarantee their quality, durability and efficiency – legal, contractual and extended.
Established by the Consumer Defense Code (CDC), the legal guarantee gives the person who made the purchase, upon receipt of the product, 30 days to complain about any problems if the product has a short duration (such as food) and 90 days if it is durable (like a refrigerator).
If the problem found is the type that only shows up after a certain period of use, the period starts to be counted from the moment the defect is discovered. The contractual warranty is one that is usually established by the manufacturer or supplier, and its term is counted from the date of issuance of the invoice.
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Extended warranty, on the other hand, is one that is usually sold by the store or by another company that has no relationship with the manufacturer.
Thirty days. This is the period that the supplier or manufacturer has to solve a product problem. If this does not happen, according to the CDC, the person who made the purchase is entitled to a similar product, immediate refund of the amount invested or a proportional reduction in the price. In case of products considered essential, the exchange must be immediate.
Imported products and showcase
When a product is purchased from abroad but whose company has representatives from Brazil, the rules are the same as those described above. However, if this is not the case, the rules are those of the country where the product came from.
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Another question reported by the Brazilian Institute for Consumer Protection (Idec) as being quite recurrent is in relation to showcase items. Are those items that, because they were displayed in stores, are sold for a cheaper price in promotions.
These products also have a legal guarantee. In addition, if it has a defect and has been sold at a cheaper price because of this, the store needs to provide this information before the sale.
For more information, download the ABC of the consumer, an informative booklet prepared by Idec.
Edition: Douglas Matos