My Reclamation Rights in Bulgaria
What if I buy something in Bulgaria and after that it turns out that the product doesn’t match what I’ve paid for? Or I notice that it has defects (for example there is a missing part from the TV or the heel of the shoe is broken)? Here comes my right for reclamation. I have the right to demand from the seller:
- to replace the product with a new one;
- to repair it (so it conforms with the contract);
In this case the first thing that I have to do is to make sure that the cash receipt (invoice or other certifying document for the payment) is still with me. There is no room for concerns if I have lost the commercial guarantee, because along with it I have also a legal one, resulting from the Consumers Protection Act. This guarantee gives me the right to claim reclamation within a period of 2 years and if I do so within the first 6 months – the burden of proof that the incompliancies haven`t existed on delivery (or have occured after the delivery) is on the seller.
In case I keep the commercial guarantee and it is more favorable for me I will use it. For some products like refrigerators, washing machines, etc. the term of the commercial guarantee is 5 years. However, usually it is accompanied by additional conditions – to make regular check-ups etc.
When it comes to other products – shoes and clothes – the commercial guarantee is about 30 days but even after that I still have the right to use my legal guarantee. I should remember that a part from the commercial guarantee the seller would be held responsible for the injuries according to my right as a consumer, resulting from the Consumers Protection Act.
After I decide to claim reclamation, it is my right to choose where:
- in the store where I bought the product;
- at the address of the seller’s management;
- someplace else, stated by the seller.
The employees might direct me to another place (according to the CPA I should not have any obstacles or additional expenses here) or tell me that reclamations are claimed only at fixed dates and hours. However, the seller is obligated to accept reclamations during the whole work time. Here I should demand to speak with the manager or to demand for a written statement which later I could use (for example if I file a complain to the Commission or if I file a lawsuit etc.).
After I claim my reclamation (verbal or written) I must make sure that it is filled in the reclamations register and to ask for its number. After that the seller within 30 days has to:
- replace the defective product;
- fix it (so it is in compliance with the contract) – the repairs must be registered in the guarantee sheet and the duration of the repair must be added to the guaranteed period
If it turns out that neither of these steps is available, I would have the right to:
- receive my money back;
- a discount.
After my reclamation is granted I have the right to receive a proving document from the seller.
If the seller refuses to accept my claim, I have the right to:
- file a complaint to the manager;
- file a complaint to the Commission for Consumers Protection (CCP is obligated to rule within 30 days);
- file a lawsuit against the seller. I’m also entitled to claim a compensation for damages, suffered by the defect of the product (exploded boiler for example) or if I paid any additional costs related to fixing the problem (buying alternative goods).
Regardless which way I would choose, I must never forget to present all the related documents, that I have – receipt, written statement from the seller with the declined reclamation, etc.
Every agreement or contract concluded between me and the seller which restricts or deprived me from the aforementioned rights, would be considered negligible and I don`t have to defer to it.
Consumers number: 0700 111 22
(*) The article aims to explain basic rights under Bulgarian law and it is not to be considered as a legal advisor. We strongly advise you to hire a lawyer, if you experience trouble understanding and using these rights. (*)
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§Consumer Protection Act