About the law: How conformity protects consumers

By Cor Merx, attorney at law

Last week was about the refurbished products and their warranty. Today we will talk about the situation where you purchase a TV (refurbished or not) and what could happen if it is broken. Meaning: it does not work anymore in a proper way.

This is going to be a little difficult to understand. That is why I will approach this issue slowly.

Conformity” is a rule in the civil law especially to protect the rights of the consumer (for you!). It means: if you do not have a warranty anymore there is still a possibility to claim the money back.

What does conformity mean? That a product (the one that you bought) is not in “conformity” with the contract if it does not have the characteristics which the buyer was entitled to expect under the contract.

This is a legal statement and needs some explication with an example.

Say I buy a car for, let’s say $20,000 and after 3 years I get a serious problem with the joints of the front wheels. The seller (dealer) will tell you that your warranty is over and that he does not feel responsible anymore for the vehicle although it was serviced all the time by the seller (dealer). Here we have a situation. No warranty but a broken car. How to solve this?

Yes the seller is right when he says the warranty is over but please be aware, after considering the previous articles in this chronicle, the seller (dealer) will always refer you to the manufacturer. Most of the contracts that you signed state that the manufacturer is giving the warranty. But, as I – also – told you before, you have no relations with the manufacturer. Most of the time you even do not know in what country the car or TV is produced (for cars it could be Mexico or Brazil and for the TV it could be China or Taiwan). If the seller would be right in his opinion you would have to find the manufacturer. This is going too far, also for the lawmakers, and according to the Supreme Court jurisprudence.

Source: Today SXM About the law: How conformity protects consumers