Legislation in the EU will change from January 2022 onwards, as Directive EU 2019/771 on certain aspects concerning contracts for the sale of goods and Directive EU 2019/770 on certain aspects concerning contracts for the supply of digital content and digital services are transposed. This content applies to purchases made prior to 31 December 2021. Content will be updated soon.
What does the EU minimum level of consumer protection mean?
The directive on the sale of consumer goods and associated guarantees ensures that the seller’s liability for defects in the trade in goods is subject in EU countries to a uniform minimum level of consumer protection.
The minimum protection applies to trade in goods where:
- the seller is a trader and
- the buyer is a consumer
You are not covered by this consumer protection if you buy an item:
- for professional use
- for resale or
- from another consumer
The directive does not regulate the responsibility to the consumer of a prior marketing level, the manufacturer, an intermediary or creditor. National legislation applies to them.
The seller cannot agree on worse terms.
The member states’ own legislation can protect consumers better than the directive requires, but not to a lesser extent. In some respects, Finnish legislation protects the consumer better than the directive. The legislation is also mandatory for the benefit of the buyer. In other words, the seller cannot deny the minimum protection or agree on less favourable terms in the terms of the contract.
The product I ordered is defective. How should I complain about it?
If you notice that an item is incorrect or deviates from the agreement, file first a written complaint with the seller. In the sale of goods, you may lose your right to refer to a fault if you have not notified the seller of it within two months of detecting it.
Send the complaint to the seller primarily by e-mail, and write the complaint primarily in English, unless the seller offers customer service in Finnish.
Can I withdraw from a purchase if there is a defect in an item I ordered?
In general, the primary remedy is repair performed by the seller at their own expense, so you must not have the goods repaired by yourself before contacting the seller. If a quick repair is absolutely necessary, it is advisable to take a statement from the repairer on the nature of the fault, the possible cause, and to keep the defective part or take a photograph of it, for example. Please note that you must not incur any costs for repairing the goods. The seller is responsible not only for the repair but also for the mailing costs. If no free refund option is available, the seller must reimburse the mailing costs of the return retroactively against the receipt.
An alternative to repairing an item is to replace it with a fault-free one. If the product cannot be repaired or replaced, the company may offer compensation in the form of price reduction, or ultimately the sale can be cancelled.
The product I ordered arrived and its packaging has been damaged in transit. What should I do?
Check the item as soon as it arrives. If there is a visible transport damage on the package, take a photo of it before opening. Damage to the packaging may indicate transport damage especially with electronics products. If the goods are delivered by a transportation company, you should be at home when the goods arrive and check the package immediately upon delivery. Do not sign anything received if the package appears to have already sustained external impacts and you suspect that the product may have been damaged in transit. Take photos of the package before opening it. In this situation, also check the product ordered. Ask the delivery company to make a note of the damaged package and any product that is damaged or missing from the package before you acknowledge receipt. Also file a complaint with the seller.
Who do I contact for warranty issues?
If an item has been purchased in another EU country (e.g., online or on holiday), first check the warranty terms. They will specify the warranty service points for the product. If no Finnish service point has been mentioned, contact a Finnish importer. The warranty does not remove the seller’s liability for defects. Instead, it is always an additional benefit, and the seller may not waive their own liability by directing you to the manufacturer or importer.