Consumer rights - these are rights that are quite commonly used today. This is one of the areas of civil law that comes down to protecting consumers against abuse of their privileged position in relation to consumers. This is due to the fact that they are usually in a weaker contractual position (e. g. by buying some goods that are needed for life) and the legislator must therefore restrict to some extent the principle of freedom of contract in favour of the more valuable good. Currently, it is trying to codify all regulations that are supposed to protect consumers, but in practice this is only manifested by unfair competition or directive acts. For the time being, there is no universal code of consumer rights that brings together all the institutions that protect the whole.
Most important consumer rights
The most important consumer rights include, inter alia, the following:
- Right to be informed
- Right to replacement of defective goods or refund of money
- Right to clearly formulated advertising messages
In view of the above, the first right is limited to a situation in which the consumer has the right to be informed of the country of origin of the product, the content of its components and the operator responsible for production or distribution. This is important because of the possibility of finding undesirable or allergic ingredients or knowing the quality of the product (it is more likely that e. g. lemons will be natural if they come from a warm country than a country with a harsh climate). Furthermore, the persons responsible for the goods should be replaced because of the consumer's subsequent easy access to pursue his claims for damages or claims.
Another right arises from a simple fact. Each of the goods may be defective at the factory or not meet all quality standards. Therefore, by paying the full amount, the consumer expects that the product will be fully ready for him/her. In the event that he is not, he shall have the right to exchange the goods in question or to a refund if the exchange is not possible.
The last of the most important rights to be mentioned is the right to clearly formulated advertising messages. Very often, advertisers or entrepreneurs themselves use marketing tricks that can be manipulative. The aim is to convince the consumer to buy the goods even though he does not need them or at the moment of the lift, which gives him a false impression of the goods he is buying. The above law also serves as a guarantee that no vendor will attempt to take advantage of the credulity of its consumers and then build a false understanding of its products.
Consumer rights and distance contract
Distance contracts concluded away from business premises are, in particular, contracts concluded by the consumer via the trader's online shop or by telephone. In principle, contract data are characterized by the fact that the consumer is not physically able to verify the existence of the product and its quality/specifications at the time of conclusion of the contract.
In connection with the above, he has the right to withdraw from the concluded contract within 14 days from the delivery of the product. This is due to the fact that it may turn out that a given product is not suitable for it or its specification differs from what he imagined. The reasons may vary.
- Eidenmuller H., Engel M. 2014,p. 3-18
- Benohr I. 2013,p. 156-164
- Loos M., Helberger N., Guibault L., Mak Ch. 2011,p.2-8
- Benohr I. (2013),EU Consumer Law and Human Rights,Oxford University Press,p. 156-164
- Eidenmuller H., Engel M. (2014), Against False Settlement: Designing Efficient Consumer Rights Enforcement Systems in Europe,Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution,p. 3-18
- Loos M., Helberger N., Guibault L., Mak Ch. (2011),The Regulation of Digital Content Contracts in the Optional Instrument of Contract Law,European Review of Private Law,p.2-8
Author: Agnieszka Gogola