In January 2023, there was a significant amendment to consumer law, which on the one hand expanded the rights of consumers, and on the other hand introduced a number of new obligations for retailers.
The most discussed change is the information obligation of the seller regarding the discounts provided. If the seller states that they are providing a discount on the goods, they must also inform the consumer of the lowest price at which they sold the product in the 30 days prior to the discount. The measure is intended to prevent consumers from being deceptively tempted by fictitious discounts.
Another important change concerns liability for defects. By law, the entrepreneur is only liable for defects in the goods that already existed when the consumer took over the goods and that become apparent within two years. At the same time, it is presumed that if the defect becomes apparent in the first year, it already existed at the time of takeover (this period was six months before the amendment). During this time, it is up to the seller to prove, if necessary, that the item was without defects upon being taken over.
The list of unfair business practices has been expanded (among other things, it is a new unfair practice if the seller puts dual-quality goods on the market in several EU Member States, unless this is justified by objective facts) and the provision of other options to defend against unfair practices (withdraw from the contract within 90 days or request a discount on the price of the goods). The amendment also modifies the rules for publishing consumer reviews and expands the seller's information obligations when concluding contracts over the phone or electronically.
The amendment does not introduce a comprehensive change in consumer law, but rather a series of partial changes. Businesses should review more closely whether they fulfil all the new obligations and whether there is no need to modify the sales process, business conditions or perhaps the complaints procedure.
Contact: Ondřej Beneš, counsel