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In the Netherlands, anyone buying a product is legally entitled to a sound product. This is a statutory guarantee (conformity). Apart from the statutory guarantee, there are other forms of guarantees:
- The manufacturer of a product may give a manufacturer's guarantee. This is an additional guarantee on top of the statutory guarantee.
- Sometimes, a buyer can extend the guarantee. The extended guarantee (warranty) often means a right or repair or replacement.
If you decide to offer your customer a guarantee, you give them a written or digital guarantee certificate. You can include a guarantee provision in your general terms and conditions. In case of business-to-consumer (B2C) sales, you may not use this to limit the statutory rights of customers. In case of a business agreement (B2B), you may negotiate an individual provision. The provisions must, however, meet the requirements of reasonableness and fairness.
Customer guarantee expiration
There is no fixed statutory guarantee period. Your customer must be able to use the product in a normal way for a certain period of time. You must inform them of the product's features. The duration of the guarantee depends on the brand, price and useful life of the product. If the guarantee period has expired, they will still be entitled to a sound product.
Defective products and consumer rights
If the product becomes defective during the average useful life, the purchaser is entitled to have it repaired or replaced. If the product becomes defective within 6 months of the purchase, you must demonstrate that the defect is the purchaser's fault. After 6 months, the purchaser must demonstrate that the defect is not their fault. If repairing the product is unreasonably expensive and it cannot be replaced, the purchaser may cancel the sale in writing. You may recover the damage you incur because of this from your supplier. This is called a right of recourse.
Defective products business purchasers
If you buy a product with a manufacturer's guarantee, supplier's guarantee or importer's guarantee, they guarantee that the product has certain features. If these features are absent, they must demonstrate that you have used the product incorrectly. If the product is already defective upon delivery, you are entitled to have it repaired or replaced. As a business purchaser, you must be able to demonstrate this.