Distance buying of electrical items - rights of return

Although I find most companies are good, I’m sure we’ve all been there when a shop or online seller doesn’t want to know when an item goes wrong.
In my case I purchased an electrical item from a French version of a major online platform. It had literally just gone a few days over a year from purchase when it stopped working. Sometimes we are told items come with a year warranty, but in the EU it is at least 2 years. Also, in France at least, there should be no onus on the buyer to prove the fault (such as through misuse), and the buyer shouldn’t be out of pocket and have to pay the return fees, even if the seller proposes to reimburse them afterwards.

I’m not a legal expert, but this was always my understanding. I had quite the exchange with the seller of the electrical item who had a different interpretation. They were polite up until the point i asked them to provide a return label. They responded by telling me if I’d bought from a physical shop, then I would have to return it at my own expense using my time, and fuel in order to do so. I was a bit taken aback, so explained the difference between distance buying and buying from a physical store…

After that I was told when I received the item it worked, and therefore it complied, so I had no right to ask a return label. They also continued to insist return was at the seller’s expense, and that they were compliant with the law so would do nothing more to help, despite I had provided them with the necessary EU legislation which contradicted their viewpoint.

Normally I would have just given up at this point, as it wasn’t worth the hassle, but because they were so rude and willfully ignorant, I used my Protection Juridique to send a letter to the company, which eventually did the trick… Rather than providing the return label, they actually just refunded me.

I thought I would share the legislation here as others might find it useful:

Nous vous rappelons que le vendeur a l’obligation de livrer au consommateur un bien conforme au
contrat, « il répond également des défauts de conformité résultant de l’emballage, des instructions de
montage ou de l’installation lorsque celle-ci a été mise à sa charge par le contrat ou a été réalisée
sous sa responsabilité » (article L.217-4 du code de la consommation).
Lorsqu’il existe un défaut de conformité l’acheteur « choisit entre la réparation et le remplacement du
bien » (article L.217-9 du code de la consommation) et ce, sans frais : « L’application des dispositions
des articles L. 217-9 et L. 217-10 a lieu sans aucun frais pour l’acheteur (article L.217-11).


Sorry for going off subject slightly but also refers to buying electrical items online. I bought a new washing machine from the online site for D***y the big retailer you see in most towns. Paid for in full and was delivered when promised but… because I bought it online and not from a shop source, the delivery men refused to install it and also refused to take the old machine away too which in the past when buying from a shop,those two items were taken care of. So just a warning that people might also get caught out too if they need their machines fitted and the old appliance removed.

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Was it more than 399€ - Darty’s FAQ suggests installation should have been included.

Maybe if it was recent you could have a go at getting 29€ refunded based on what they charge for installation on cheaper items.

Hi Shiba, I believe Darty will take away the old appliance as a matter of course. I’m not certain, but it’s possible they might be legally obligated to take it away - worth looking into. I’m not sure if you have to pay extra to have it installed, but worth chasing it up with the company as most people find them to be quite good for that sort of thing.

Yes getting on for €500. They didn’t want to know and my plumber friend came round and put it in for me and then the school was collecting scrap metal so they took the old machine - solved but could have been a nightmare for an elderly person with no help

Are you saying that the On-Line site promised to fit the new and removed the old… and subsequently failed to live up to said promise??

tell me, when you ordered on-line from Darty, was there not an option in the order process to request installation and collection of the old item?
This seems to suggest so


It certainly seems to be offered for free on more expensive items - of course one might still have to select it as part of the order process as not everyone will want/need installation (when I had the washing machine delivered I didn’t even have the plumbing in situ to which it would eventually connect).

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Indeed. One has to be very careful to choose these options. I bought a washing machine on line. I failed to choose delivery to the room of my choice in my house, leaving delivery as the default option of to the street gate.

The store was sympathetic. They suggested I simply refuse to accept the item, which would be returned to base and after some days, a refund woud be issued. Once that was safely done, I ordered again but specified the correct delivery.

Poor bloke on the van! There was just him and a trolley. He had to trolley the thing 200m to my gate, unpack it in order to fit thru’ the gate and then schlep it 6m vertically - ? m horizontally, to the front door of my house, which isround the back on account of it being built on a cliff.

The online order process is simple and clear with Darty and splashed all over their web pages is thier promise to deliver unpack install and remove old appliance. I found it necessary to opt out of the various stages rather than have to opt in. I opted out of our old fridge being taken away so to have time to change over the contents. Once delivered unpacked and installed the Darty men even suggested they wait a few minutes while we transferred the old fridge contents so that they could take the old one away.

The Darty online order process covers every step of delivery, type of house, stairs, lift, width and height of access plus a place to advise of specific requirements.

My experience with Darty was very positive and whist things can go wrong I feel that if the buyer takes sufficient care during the order process to answer all questions about the delivery and not assume then all will go smoothly.

Anyone want to buy an old fridge now surplus to requirements!!

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Think I’d better decline, having already one fridge freezer and 2 freezers outside awaiting the next brainwave regarding their onward use.

But you must live closer to Darty than me, when I tried to buy something from them and they found out where I live they cut me off without another word. :grinning:

your reputation preceded you :slightly_smiling_face: