Black Friday and Cyber Monday – your rights
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are specific days on which real bargains may be found in-store and online, both in Poland and abroad. Remember that you have the right to file a complaint regarding any product purchased on sale. To find out more, see some tips by UOKiK and the European Consumer Center.
Bargain hunters are about to enjoy a real treat soon. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are specific days on which goods offered by regular and online stores go on sale. The tradition may be traced back to the United States, but is becoming ever more popular in Poland as well. Black Friday is celebrated immediately after Thanksgiving Day – this year it falls on November 23rd. In theory, sales are organized by regular stores, but practice shows that online shops join in as well. Cyber Monday, in turn, is a feat for online stores only. This year, it will be celebrated on November 26th.
It does not matter whether you are buying goods at a promotional or regular price, from a Polish supplier or abroad – regulations protecting consumers are uniform throughout the entire European Union.
When buying in-store
- You have the right to complain about products purchased on sale. If a product is defective, you may claim your rights from the seller within 2 years from the date the item was released to you. You may demand that the product be repaired or replaced, or that its price be reduced. The entrepreneur must review your complaint within 14 days. If the deadline is not met, the complaint is deemed to have been accepted. If the defect is of a material character, you may also demand to withdraw from the agreement. When submitting a complaint, it is best to be in the possession of a proof of purchase, e.g. a receipt or a wire transfer confirmation.
- Not satisfied with the purchase? Are you looking to return the goods? Remember, when you are buying in a regular store, it is up to the seller’s good will to accept a return. Inquire before making the purchase. It is up to the seller to determine the conditions on which the return may be completed – you may be offered a cash refund, a gift voucher or a replacement.
- If the price at the cash desk turns out to be higher than that displayed on the price tag, you have the right to buy the item concerned at the more favorable price.
- Take some time to make sure that the “promotion” is truly attractive – verify if the original price has not been artificially increased by the seller. Perhaps the same item may be bought at a lower price elsewhere.
When buying online
- You are entitled to exercise the same complaint rights as if you were making an in-store purchase. If a product is defective, claim your rights from the seller within 2 years from the date the item was released to you.
- Goods purchased online may be returned, without stating the reason, within
14 days from their receipt. All you have to do is to fill out and submit an agreement withdrawal statement. A template of such a statement should be made available by the online seller. You may also make it up on you own and submit it, for instance by e-mail. If you have not been informed about your right to withdraw, the deadline by which such a withdrawal may be made increases to 12 months. The entrepreneur is required to reimburse you for any payments made, including the cost of supplying goods (the cheapest, regular shipping option offered by the entrepreneur).
- The goods returned should not bear any signs of usage – you may test the products in the same manner as in-store (to the extent necessary to determine the nature, the features and the operation of a given item). If any signs of use are visible, the entrepreneur may reduce the value of the refund.
You are not required to verify the parcel in the courier’s presence, although this may definitely help in seeking the satisfaction of any potential claims later on, should it turn out that the goods were damaged in transit.
- Not all goods may be returned. Restrictions apply to rapidly expiring products, those manufactured to the customer’s special order (e.g. engraved jewelry), sound and visual recordings or software whose packaging was opened after delivery, as well as accommodation and leisure services (e.g. stay at a spa), tickets to concerts or sports events, as well as passenger transport services (e.g. air ticket).
- The costs of returning the goods are borne by the consumer, unless the entrepreneur has failed to inform the consumer thereof or has agreed to bear them.
What should you verify before clicking “ORDER AND PAY”?
- Contact – the seller should provide the key contact data under this tab: name, registered office address, telephone number and e-mail address.
Terms and Conditions – the first paragraphs should list the registration data of a given business or company. The fact that the website is presented in Polish and the domain name ends with the “.pl” suffix does not have to mean that we are dealing with a Polish seller.
- Consumer rights – the website should include information on the consumer’s basic rights – the right to withdraw from the agreement and the right to file a complaint.
Payment method – if the payment is required to be made by an express foreign wire transfer or to an account of a natural person, you may assume, with considerable probability, that the online store is not trustworthy.
- General appearance of the website – any syntax and spelling mistakes, as well disproportions in the content layout should raise your suspicions.
Reviews by other customers – verify how a given seller is rated on Internet forums or in social media.
- Products from China – make sure that you are not taking advantage of the services offered by an intermediary. Many online stores offer products from Asia (mainly electronic equipment) at lower prices, explaining that they are not the seller themselves, and referring you to a supplier from Asia if any problems are encountered. To avoid dropshipping, check if the seller’s Terms and Conditions do not contain any of the following phrases:
[…] seller from Asia.
[…] shipment in 24 hrs.
Acting in the capacity of the importer, the customer is required to bear any customs and fiscal fees due.
The Service Provider purchases the Goods, on behalf the Customer, from a Contractor.
The Goods need to be sent to the supplier […].
[…] our warehouse is located in Singapore.
The store is a trade platform matching the buyer and the supplier.
[…] due to reasons beyond the seller’s control, the period referred to above may be extended even
up to 40 business days.
Assistance and advice
You may take advantage of assistance offered to consumers free of charge: contact us by telephone or e-mail: hotline 801 440 220, 22 290 89 16, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Support is also offered by Consumer Ombudsmen and the Trade Inspection Authority. When buying from entrepreneurs based in another EU Member State, see advice from ECC Poland.
Phone: +48 801 440 220 or +48 22 290 89 16 – consumer helpline
Branches of the Consumer Federation
Consumer ombudsmen – in your town or district
European Consumer Center:
Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warszawa
Tel. 22 55 60 118, fax. 22 5560359