Time limits in relations with consumers to which the entrepreneur is obliged


Several terms apply to transactions with consumers. The time limits set by law (the Civil Code and the Consumer Rights Act), as well as the possibility of complaining about the goods, are intended to protect the consumer, as he is considered a weaker entity in market relations with the seller / entrepreneur. Both the consumer and the entrepreneur are obliged to comply with the terms "consumer". Read about the applicable deadlines in relations with consumers.

Who is the consumer?

Civil Code (Journal of Laws of 2017, item 459, as amended) in art. 221 defines a consumer as a natural person who performs a legal transaction with an entrepreneur not directly related to his business or professional activity. Thus, a consumer is any person who buys a given product for his private use (not related to business) from an entrepreneur.

Terms in relations with consumers

The time limits for relations with consumers are:

  • 14 days - this is the period within which the consumer has the right to withdraw from a distance or off-premises contract. It is counted from the date of delivery of the goods or conclusion of the contract for the provision of the service. A consumer who exercises this right does not have to provide a reason for withdrawal from the contract - it is enough for him to submit a written declaration of withdrawal from the contract or electronically (if the entrepreneur offers such an option).

  • 12 months - this is the period during which the consumer may withdraw from a distance or off-premises contract, if he has not been informed by the entrepreneur about the right to withdraw from the contract. This period is counted after 14 days from the date of the contract / purchase.

  • 2 years - this is the term of the warranty (non-compliance of the goods with the contract), i.e. the time for submitting a complaint by the consumer, the seller's liability.

  • 14 days - this is the time within which the entrepreneur should respond to the complaint (reply to the customer whether the complaint is accepted or rejected). If the entrepreneur does not respond to it within 14 days from the date of receipt of the complaint, the complaint is deemed to have been accepted.

  • 1 year - from the moment a defect in the product is noticed, it is the time for the consumer to submit a complaint so as not to lose his complaint rights (repair or replacement of the product).

  • 1 year - from the date of purchase of the goods, is the date on which the seller is responsible for the delivered goods. It is assumed that if the defect of the goods was reported within one year of its purchase, the goods had the defect at the time of purchase. On the other hand, if a given product has been complained after one year from the date of its purchase, the consumer bears the burden of proving that it was already defective at the time of issue.

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As for the time to perform the obligation as a result of a positively considered complaint, the law does not impose strict deadlines - it is the responsibility of the parties and the agreement between the seller and the consumer.


The period of validity of the warranty and the time to submit a complaint

The time for submitting a complaint as a result of a noticed defect (one year from the date of detection of the defect) does not shorten the time of the seller's liability (2 years from the date of delivery of the goods).

If, during the 2-year warranty period, the consumer notices a defect in the item, he has a year from that moment to file a complaint and have the product repaired or replaced with a new one - even if the 2-year warranty ends in 3 months.

The above-mentioned periods apply in the case of the seller's warranty for non-compliance of the goods with the contract, under which the seller is always liable. But in addition to the warranty claim, the consumer also has the right to file a warranty claim.

Since the guarantee is a voluntary declaration issued by the guarantor (manufacturer, importer), all deadlines for submitting, considering complaints, and liability for the goods are determined individually by the guarantor and included in the warranty card. However, if a guarantee has been issued for a given product, but the time limits are not specified in it, the same terms apply as for a complaint under the warranty, i.e. those described above.