Retail warranty

I thought that I had posted this some time ago but, as I am unable to find it - and as no-one has responded - I am assuming that I made a mistake somewhere along the line!

Anyway, in September, we purchased a pair of handsets for our land-line, from Conforama in Bergerac. There was a discount offered, but we discovered at the checkout that we had to apply to the manufacturer (Sagem) for it. A nuisance, but not a problem - or so we thought.

We sent off the necessary paper-work, including the receipt for the handsets. Eventually we received a communication from Sagem asking us for the bar-code. I cut this from the box, and returned it with the letter (which had included a pro-forma). Then about the beginning of February, we wanted to change the recorded message for when no-one is available to take a call. We could no longer find the appropriate section in the Menu. We took the handsets back to Conforama. The English-speaking Sales Assistant checked, and agreed that the section was no longer to be found. However, he then informed us that we had only eight (8) days in which to return it, so there was nothing that he could do!

I am fully aware that there are different rules and regulations here (which is why I need a "SURVIVE France Network"!), but in the UK, my contract is surely with the retailer. Can anyone advise me as to what the situation really is here, please? Am I being "taken for a ride" because I am a foreigner? The situation has now worsened in that when I answer with one of the handsets, the call is instantly cut off! Embarrassing - and making the second handset pointless. To add insult to injury, we still haven't received our massive €8 discount (less two postages!).

If we had purchased one of those €1000+ TV sets, or an item of similar value, I could understand Conforama's unwillingness to exchange - but for less than €25 worth of handsets, I would have thought that customer satisfaction and relations would have come into play. We have, in fact, purchased almost €1,000 worth of furniture (inc a fridge-freezer) from them, so it is not as if the handsets were our only purchase!

Any information/advice will, as always, be welcomed.

Thank you.

I would like to send Rik Newell's legal doc on eu consumer rights

to the people who have sold me a machine not fit for purpose.

But I am not a computer do not know how to transport it.

No translation needed.

If I may, a general "Thank you" to all who have responded. Apologies that I have not thanked each one, individually - but there have been a lot of you!!

Whatever some others may recently have thought, I remain convinced that the name of the site is spot-on!!!

Kind regards. :-)

Hello. I agree about the size of the sum involved in my case. However, I want to "know the score" lest, on some future occasion, I am looking for a refund in the high tens, or the hundreds, of euros.

In your own case, a translation done by Google Translate will not be in perfect French - but it will be understandable! Best wishes! :-)

C.Brian Ross I certainly would not be loosing sleep for a purchase of 7 euros.

My story is about a 1.000 EUROS and a complete run around mixed in with some

unprovoked rudeness.

What I should do....although it will probably fall on death ears is to send a copy

of that very, very long description.

If someone could help me by sending that long long doc to the managment

company who made the ride on mower and the shop I purchased it from it would,

at least make them very busy translating and digesting the details.
en France les consommateurs ont le droit d’une reparation or a un replacement sans frais par le vendeur des produits non conforms au contrat de vente dans les deux ans suivant leur livraison,

you have 2 years to obtain a refund of items which have a hidden vice… if you discovered the problem within 6 months of purchase, which you did and notified the store, then they are obliged by law to replace or repair the items. (I don’t understand why the salesperson agreed and then said you only had 8 days left so they couldnt do anything?)

Show them a copy of the law and insist on talking to the manager. Otherwise a letter raccomandé avec accusé de reception stating the Code de la consommation francais as above, and threatening legal action. but if you can get the manager to just do it on the spot, so much the better,.
and yes, we too have found Darty to have impeccable after sales service. Avoid Boulanger at all costs, we had to take them to court to enforce the hidden vice feature, but we won, although it took a year.

Always good to hear of the positive experiences! I must contact James Dyson and find out when he is branching out into French, fixed line, telephone handsets!!! :-)

Last year the motor on our Dyson vacuum cleaner burnt out (with smoke and sparks!). I was looking on Amazon for a replacement and I noticed that they offer a 5 year guarantee. As good luck would have it...the appliance was 4 years and 11 months old. Dyson aftersales emailed me a postage paid label and I posted it off to them. 10 days later it arrived back complete with new motor. I was impressed.

I'll confirm that! We have had excellent experience with Leroy-Merlin, and would recommend them to anyone. The builder we employed recently turned out not to be a plumber (he had told me this, but explained that his son was the plumber - he didn't explain that his son lives in the Auvergne, so would not be involved, as I was led to believe, in the work!) and who managed to break a part of the new toilet that we had purchased from L-M. I took it back to see if I could purchase a replacement. It was replaced free of charge, and even posted out to me! Gold Stars all round!

Thanks for the empathy!! Perhaps you will read the previous comments, and find them as helpful as I am doing! I have an even longer standing situation, but I'll get this simple one sorted first - and then call upon the undoubted expertise (whether professional, or from experience) of SFN members, for some further advice!

Best wishes with your own situation. :-)

We have taken a couple of things back to Leroy Merlin (with bill) and they don't turn a hair. Reimbursement. End of. Of course, if you want to buy a replacement, you can.

Know how you feel, we have spent about 2,500 Euros with Castorama in Limoges. In October we bought a Sink Unit, so far we have been back to them with the lights on the top of this sink unit five times. They still retain the lights and the unit, so we have got an incomplete sink unit without any lights on it, our bathroom is finished apart from this! They keep fobbing us off with various bits of this unit don't work and we are totally fed up. Why is the after sales service so bad in France? If anybody could help with how to progress things I would be grateful Regards


We had a similar problem with a camera that failed after only 3 weeks - purchased from Le clerk - They refused to take responsibility so I downloaded a copy of the sale of goods act in French - yes the same rules apply as in the UK but they don't apply them - I took it to the shop and showed the sales manager the LAW and in the end they agreed to return it for me (not quite what I wanted but it was a start) and a couple of weeks later we got a new one. The problem is that the staff are not told about the sale of goods act so they don't know what the law is but IT IS THE SAME as we are used to in the uk..

Trading Standards in the UK is not what it was: it's all been farmed out to the CAB now.

Apologies for a very long post but I think it covers everything and beyond that you need to know.

Surprisingly your consumer rights are the same in both France and UK. They are in fact covered by a European directive, which all European member states have adopted.(see below). However the key point here is that any product bought in an EU country including France has to conform to their specification, in other words be - 'Fit for Purpose' - if the product fails due to manufacturing problems or lack of conformity within 2 years from the date of purchase you have various rights for replacement items, refunds etc. all with the seller.

From experience we all know that customer service in France can at best be poor. It can be next to impossible to get a replacement from certain companies, even if the equipment has completely failed within a couple of weeks of normal use! However this should be possible! - Go equipped with the following European Union Directive in English and French. When they say they will repair your item, and you want a replacement then if necessary stick the French Consumer Rights Directive (see link below) under their noses and tell them that you will take the matter to your Avocat! Many French companies gamble on consumers not knowing their rights and once they realise you do the service somewhat improves!

French Consumer Rights - European Union


on certain aspects of the sale of consumer goods and associated guarantees


Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 95 thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission(1),

Having regard to the opinion of the Economic and Social Committee(2),

Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 251 of the Treaty in the light of the joint text approved by the Conciliation Committee on 18 May 1999(3),

(1) Whereas Article 153(1) and (3) of the Treaty provides that the Community should contribute to the achievement of a high level of consumer protection by the measures it adopts pursuant to Article 95 thereof;

(2) Whereas the internal market comprises an area without internal frontiers in which the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital is guaranteed; whereas free movement of goods concerns not only transactions by persons acting in the course of a business but also transactions by private individuals; whereas it implies that consumers resident in one Member State should be free to purchase goods in the territory of another Member State on the basis of a uniform minimum set of fair rules governing the sale of consumer goods;

(3) Whereas the laws of the Member States concerning the sale of consumer goods are somewhat disparate, with the result that national consumer goods markets differ from one another and that competition between sellers may be distorted;

(4) Whereas consumers who are keen to benefit from the large market by purchasing goods in Member States other than their State of residence play a fundamental role in the completion of the internal market; whereas the artificial reconstruction of frontiers and the compartmentalisation of markets should be prevented; whereas the opportunities available to consumers have been greatly broadened by new communication technologies which allow ready access to distribution systems in other Member States or in third countries; whereas, in the absence of minimum harmonisation of the rules governing the sale of consumer goods, the development of the sale of goods through the medium of new distance communication technologies risks being impeded;

(5) Whereas the creation of a common set of minimum rules of consumer law, valid no matter where goods are purchased within the Community, will strengthen consumer confidence and enable consumers to make the most of the internal market;

(6) Whereas the main difficulties encountered by consumers and the main source of disputes with sellers concern the non-conformity of goods with the contract; whereas it is therefore appropriate to approximate national legislation governing the sale of consumer goods in this respect, without however impinging on provisions and principles of national law relating to contractual and non-contractual liability;

(7) Whereas the goods must, above all, conform with the contractual specifications; whereas the principle of conformity with the contract may be considered as common to the different national legal traditions; whereas in certain national legal traditions it may not be possible to rely solely on this principle to ensure a minimum level of protection for the consumer; whereas under such legal traditions, in particular, additional national provisions may be useful to ensure that the consumer is protected in cases where the parties have agreed no specific contractual terms or where the parties have concluded contractual terms or agreements which directly or indirectly waive or restrict the rights of the consumer and which, to the extent that these rights result from this Directive, are not binding on the consumer;

(8) Whereas, in order to facilitate the application of the principle of conformity with the contract, it is useful to introduce a rebuttable presumption of conformity with the contract covering the most common situations; whereas that presumption does not restrict the principle of freedom of contract; whereas, furthermore, in the absence of specific contractual terms, as well as where the minimum protection clause is applied, the elements mentioned in this presumption may be used to determine the lack of conformity of the goods with the contract; whereas the quality and performance which consumers can reasonably expect will depend inter alia on whether the goods are new or second-hand; whereas the elements mentioned in the presumption are cumulative; whereas, if the circumstances of the case render any particular element manifestly inappropriate, the remaining elements of the presumption nevertheless still apply;

(9) Whereas the seller should be directly liable to the consumer for the conformity of the goods with the contract; whereas this is the traditional solution enshrined in the legal orders of the Member States; whereas nevertheless the seller should be free, as provided for by national law, to pursue remedies against the producer, a previous seller in the same chain of contracts or any other intermediary, unless he has renounced that entitlement; whereas this Directive does not affect the principle of freedom of contract between the seller, the producer, a previous seller or any other intermediary; whereas the rules governing against whom and how the seller may pursue such remedies are to be determined by national law;

(10) Whereas, in the case of non-conformity of the goods with the contract, consumers should be entitled to have the goods restored to conformity with the contract free of charge, choosing either repair or replacement, or, failing this, to have the price reduced or the contract rescinded;

(11) Whereas the consumer in the first place may require the seller to repair the goods or to replace them unless those remedies are impossible or disproportionate; whereas whether a remedy is disproportionate should be determined objectively; whereas a remedy would be disproportionate if it imposed, in comparison with the other remedy, unreasonable costs; whereas, in order to determine whether the costs are unreasonable, the costs of one remedy should be significantly higher than the costs of the other remedy;

(12) Whereas in cases of a lack of conformity, the seller may always offer the consumer, by way of settlement, any available remedy; whereas it is for the consumer to decide whether to accept or reject this proposal;

(13) Whereas, in order to enable consumers to take advantage of the internal market and to buy consumer goods in another Member State, it should be recommended that, in the interests of consumers, the producers of consumer goods that are marketed in several Member States attach to the product a list with at least one contact address in every Member State where the product is marketed;

(14) Whereas the references to the time of delivery do not imply that Member States have to change their rules on the passing of the risk;

(15) Whereas Member States may provide that any reimbursement to the consumer may be reduced to take account of the use the consumer has had of the goods since they were delivered to him; whereas the detailed arrangements whereby rescission of the contract is effected may be laid down in national law;

(16) Whereas the specific nature of second-hand goods makes it generally impossible to replace them; whereas therefore the consumer's right of replacement is generally not available for these goods; whereas for such goods, Member States may enable the parties to agree a shortened period of liability;

(17) Whereas it is appropriate to limit in time the period during which the seller is liable for any lack of conformity which exists at the time of delivery of the goods; whereas Member States may also provide for a limitation on the period during which consumers can exercise their rights, provided such a period does not expire within two years from the time of delivery; whereas where, under national legislation, the time when a limitation period starts is not the time of delivery of the goods, the total duration of the limitation period provided for by national law may not be shorter than two years from the time of delivery;

(18) Whereas Member States may provide for suspension or interruption of the period during which any lack of conformity must become apparent and of the limitation period, where applicable and in accordance with their national law, in the event of repair, replacement or negotiations between seller and consumer with a view to an amicable settlement;

(19) Whereas Member States should be allowed to set a period within which the consumer must inform the seller of any lack of conformity; whereas Member States may ensure a higher level of protection for the consumer by not introducing such an obligation; whereas in any case consumers throughout the Community should have at least two months in which to inform the seller that a lack of conformity exists;

(20) Whereas Member States should guard against such a period placing at a disadvantage consumers shopping across borders; whereas all Member States should inform the Commission of their use of this provision; whereas the Commission should monitor the effect of the varied application of this provision on consumers and on the internal market; whereas information on the use made of this provision by a Member State should be available to the other Member States and to consumers and consumer organisations throughout the Community; whereas a summary of the situation in all Member States should therefore be published in the Official Journal of the European Communities;

(21) Whereas, for certain categories of goods, it is current practice for sellers and producers to offer guarantees on goods against any defect which becomes apparent within a certain period; whereas this practice can stimulate competition; whereas, while such guarantees are legitimate marketing tools, they should not mislead the consumer; whereas, to ensure that consumers are not misled, guarantees should contain certain information, including a statement that the guarantee does not affect the consumer's legal rights;

(22) Whereas the parties may not, by common consent, restrict or waive the rights granted to consumers, since otherwise the legal protection afforded would be thwarted; whereas this principle should apply also to clauses which imply that the consumer was aware of any lack of conformity of the consumer goods existing at the time the contract was concluded; whereas the protection granted to consumers under this Directive should not be reduced on the grounds that the law of a non-member State has been chosen as being applicable to the contract;

(23) Whereas legislation and case-law in this area in the various Member States show that there is growing concern to ensure a high level of consumer protection; whereas, in the light of this trend and the experience acquired in implementing this Directive, it may be necessary to envisage more far-reaching harmonisation, notably by providing for the producer's direct liability for defects for which he is responsible;

(24) Whereas Member States should be allowed to adopt or maintain in force more stringent provisions in the field covered by this Directive to ensure an even higher level of consumer protection;

(25) Whereas, according to the Commission recommendation of 30 March 1998 on the principles applicable to the bodies responsible for out-of-court settlement of consumer disputes(4), Member States can create bodies that ensure impartial and efficient handling of complaints in a national and cross-border context and which consumers can use as mediators;

(26) Whereas it is appropriate, in order to protect the collective interests of consumers, to add this Directive to the list of Directives contained in the Annex to Directive 98/27/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 May 1998 on injunctions for the protection of consumers' interests(5),


Article 1

Scope and definitions

1. The purpose of this Directive is the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States on certain aspects of the sale of consumer goods and associated guarantees in order to ensure a uniform minimum level of consumer protection in the context of the internal market.

2. For the purposes of this Directive:

(a) consumer: shall mean any natural person who, in the contracts covered by this Directive, is acting for purposes which are not related to his trade, business or profession;

(b) consumer goods: shall mean any tangible movable item, with the exception of:

- goods sold by way of execution or otherwise by authority of law,

- water and gas where they are not put up for sale in a limited volume or set quantity,

- electricity;

(c) seller: shall mean any natural or legal person who, under a contract, sells consumer goods in the course of his trade, business or profession;

(d) producer: shall mean the manufacturer of consumer goods, the importer of consumer goods into the territory of the Community or any person purporting to be a producer by placing his name, trade mark or other distinctive sign on the consumer goods;

(e) guarantee: shall mean any undertaking by a seller or producer to the consumer, given without extra charge, to reimburse the price paid or to replace, repair or handle consumer goods in any way if they do not meet the specifications set out in the guarantee statement or in the relevant advertising;

(f) repair: shall mean, in the event of lack of conformity, bringing consumer goods into conformity with the contract of sale.

3. Member States may provide that the expression "consumer goods" does not cover second-hand goods sold at public auction where consumers have the opportunity of attending the sale in person.

4. Contracts for the supply of consumer goods to be manufactured or produced shall also be deemed contracts of sale for the purpose of this Directive.

Article 2

Conformity with the contract

1. The seller must deliver goods to the consumer which are in conformity with the contract of sale.

2. Consumer goods are presumed to be in conformity with the contract if they:

(a) comply with the description given by the seller and possess the qualities of the goods which the seller has held out to the consumer as a sample or model;

(b) are fit for any particular purpose for which the consumer requires them and which he made known to the seller at the time of conclusion of the contract and which the seller has accepted;

(c) are fit for the purposes for which goods of the same type are normally used;

(d) show the quality and performance which are normal in goods of the same type and which the consumer can reasonably expect, given the nature of the goods and taking into account any public statements on the specific characteristics of the goods made about them by the seller, the producer or his representative, particularly in advertising or on labelling.

3. There shall be deemed not to be a lack of conformity for the purposes of this Article if, at the time the contract was concluded, the consumer was aware, or could not reasonably be unaware of, the lack of conformity, or if the lack of conformity has its origin in materials supplied by the consumer.

4. The seller shall not be bound by public statements, as referred to in paragraph 2(d) if he:

- shows that he was not, and could not reasonably have been, aware of the statement in question,

- shows that by the time of conclusion of the contract the statement had been corrected, or

- shows that the decision to buy the consumer goods could not have been influenced by the statement.

5. Any lack of conformity resulting from incorrect installation of the consumer goods shall be deemed to be equivalent to lack of conformity of the goods if installation forms part of the contract of sale of the goods and the goods were installed by the seller or under his responsibility. This shall apply equally if the product, intended to be installed by the consumer, is installed by the consumer and the incorrect installation is due to a shortcoming in the installation instructions.

Article 3

Rights of the consumer

1. The seller shall be liable to the consumer for any lack of conformity which exists at the time the goods were delivered.

2. In the case of a lack of conformity, the consumer shall be entitled to have the goods brought into conformity free of charge by repair or replacement, in accordance with paragraph 3, or to have an appropriate reduction made in the price or the contract rescinded with regard to those goods, in accordance with paragraphs 5 and 6.

3. In the first place, the consumer may require the seller to repair the goods or he may require the seller to replace them, in either case free of charge, unless this is impossible or disproportionate.

A remedy shall be deemed to be disproportionate if it imposes costs on the seller which, in comparison with the alternative remedy, are unreasonable, taking into account:

- the value the goods would have if there were no lack of conformity,

- the significance of the lack of conformity, and

- whether the alternative remedy could be completed without significant inconvenience to the consumer.

Any repair or replacement shall be completed within a reasonable time and without any significant inconvenience to the consumer, taking account of the nature of the goods and the purpose for which the consumer required the goods.

4. The terms "free of charge" in paragraphs 2 and 3 refer to the necessary costs incurred to bring the goods into conformity, particularly the cost of postage, labour and materials.

5. The consumer may require an appropriate reduction of the price or have the contract rescinded:

- if the consumer is entitled to neither repair nor replacement, or

- if the seller has not completed the remedy within a reasonable time, or

- if the seller has not completed the remedy without significant inconvenience to the consumer.

6. The consumer is not entitled to have the contract rescinded if the lack of conformity is minor.

Article 4

Right of redress

Where the final seller is liable to the consumer because of a lack of conformity resulting from an act or omission by the producer, a previous seller in the same chain of contracts or any other intermediary, the final seller shall be entitled to pursue remedies against the person or persons liable in the contractual chain. the person or persons liable against whom the final seller may pursue remedies, together with the relevant actions and conditions of exercise, shall be determined by national law.

Article 5

Time limits

1. The seller shall be held liable under Article 3 where the lack of conformity becomes apparent within two years as from delivery of the goods. If, under national legislation, the rights laid down in Article 3(2) are subject to a limitation period, that period shall not expire within a period of two years from the time of delivery.

2. Member States may provide that, in order to benefit from his rights, the consumer must inform the seller of the lack of conformity within a period of two months from the date on which he detected such lack of conformity.

Member States shall inform the Commission of their use of this paragraph. The Commission shall monitor the effect of the existence of this option for the Member States on consumers and on the internal market.

Not later than 7 January 2003, the Commission shall prepare a report on the use made by Member States of this paragraph. This report shall be published in the Official Journal of the European Communities.

3. Unless proved otherwise, any lack of conformity which becomes apparent within six months of delivery of the goods shall be presumed to have existed at the time of delivery unless this presumption is incompatible with the nature of the goods or the nature of the lack of conformity.

Article 6


1. A guarantee shall be legally binding on the offerer under the conditions laid down in the guarantee statement and the associated advertising.

2. The guarantee shall:

- state that the consumer has legal rights under applicable national legislation governing the sale of consumer goods and make clear that those rights are not affected by the guarantee,

- set out in plain intelligible language the contents of the guarantee and the essential particulars necessary for making claims under the guarantee, notably the duration and territorial scope of the guarantee as well as the name and address of the guarantor.

3. On request by the consumer, the guarantee shall be made available in writing or feature in another durable medium available and accessible to him.

4. Within its own territory, the Member State in which the consumer goods are marketed may, in accordance with the rules of the Treaty, provide that the guarantee be drafted in one or more languages which it shall determine from among the official languages of the Community.

5. Should a guarantee infringe the requirements of paragraphs 2, 3 or 4, the validity of this guarantee shall in no way be affected, and the consumer can still rely on the guarantee and require that it be honoured.

Article 7

Binding nature

1. Any contractual terms or agreements concluded with the seller before the lack of conformity is brought to the seller's attention which directly or indirectly waive or restrict the rights resulting from this Directive shall, as provided for by national law, not be binding on the consumer.

Member States may provide that, in the case of second-hand goods, the seller and consumer may agree contractual terms or agreements which have a shorter time period for the liability of the seller than that set down in Article 5(1). Such period may not be less than one year.

2. Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that consumers are not deprived of the protection afforded by this Directive as a result of opting for the law of a non-member State as the law applicable to the contract where the contract has a close connection with the territory of the Member States.

Article 8

National law and minimum protection

1. The rights resulting from this Directive shall be exercised without prejudice to other rights which the consumer may invoke under the national rules governing contractual or non-contractual liability.

2. Member States may adopt or maintain in force more stringent provisions, compatible with the Treaty in the field covered by this Directive, to ensure a higher level of consumer protection.

Article 9

Member States shall take appropriate measures to inform the consumer of the national law transposing this Directive and shall encourage, where appropriate, professional organisations to inform consumers of their rights.

Article 10

The Annex to Directive 98/27/EC shall be completed as follows: "10. Directive 1999/44/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 May 1999 on certain aspects of the sale of consumer goods and associated guarantees (OJ L 171, 7.7.1999, p. 12).".

Article 11


1. Member States shall bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive not later than 1 January 2002. They shall forthwith inform the Commission thereof.

When Member States adopt these measures, they shall contain a reference to this Directive, or shall be accompanied by such reference at the time of their official publication. The procedure for such reference shall be adopted by Member States.

2. Member States shall communicate to the Commission the provisions of national law which they adopt in the field covered by this Directive.

Article 12


The Commission shall, not later than 7 July 2006, review the application of this Directive and submit to the European Parliament and the Council a report. The report shall examine, inter alia, the case for introducing the producer's direct liability and, if appropriate, shall be accompanied by proposals.

Article 13

Entry into force

This Directive shall enter into force on the day of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Communities.

Article 14

This Directive is addressed to the Member States.

Done at Brussels, 25 May 1999.

For the European Parliament

The President


For the Council

The President


(1) OJ C 307, 16.10.1996, p. 8

and OJ C 148, 14.5.1998, p. 12.

(2) OJ C 66, 3.3.1997, p. 5.

(3) Opinion of the European Parliament of 10 March 1998 (OJ C 104, 6.4.1998, p. 30), Council Common Position of 24 September 1998 (OJ C 333, 30.10.1998, p. 46) and Decision of the European Parliament of 17 December 1998. (OJ C 98, 9.4.1999, p. 226). Decision of the European Parliament of 5 May 1999. Council Decision of 17 May 1999.

(4) OJ L 115, 17.4.1998, p. 31.

(5) OJ L 166, 11.6.1998, p. 51.

Take a look at this:

Thanks for the tip re Darty, we appear to have one fairly local, so I will investigate.

Has anyone found the equivalent of Trading Standards?

Also worth remembering for big ticket purchases, if you pay at least £100 (ie 150€ to be safe) of the total cost with a UK CREDIT card then section 75 applies* and you can demand a refund from the card company if the retailer isn't playing ball. This is British law going back for a long time, not EU rules. It even applies to cars! (so pay the deposit with your uk card). NOT debit card. NOT French card.

*google it, moneysavingexpert is informative

Well the law seems to vary from store to store and manufacturer to manufacturer depending

on how well they manage to kiss the Blaney stone.

Survival of the fittest some times enters into the situation.


Your contract of sale is with Conforama. French consumer laws are different to the UK, but I believe basic law of contract is the same. Therefore it is up to Conforama to deal with it not the manufacturer.

My experience, some years ago, was with a DVD player (about 45€) I bought in a supermarket which went wrong about four or five months later. I took it back and asked for an new one or my money back. They would not do this (French consumer law then did not require exchange or refund, whether this has changed I am not sure), but they said they would repair it. A couple of weeks went by with no news so I went to ask about it.

Apparently it or the paperwork was lost, so they offered a replacement. An identical machine was not in stock so I took a substitute with a refund of 2€.

However I recommend in future you shop in Darty who have a no quibble exchange policy if you return something in its original packaging within six months of purchase you get a new one. I got a new vacuum cleaner which faulted, so I took it back in its box, they just took the old one and gave me a new one - took about three minutes.

They also offer an extra year warranty, free, on high price items. I had a coffee machine repaired after 18 months under this. I took it back, they dealt with it and sent it back to the manufacturer, then wrote to me a couple of weeks later to say it was done and gave me confirmation that the repair was guaranteed for the six months remaining on the warranty.

I bought a TV from Darty a couple of months ago and they said if I did not like it, I had 15 days to return it for a refund as long as it was in its original packaging. They also send a text the morning of delivery giving you a two hour delivery slot when they will deliver.