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Just bought and already broken: New consumer rights with built-in wear and tear

2021-08-03T16:39:47.155Z

"It only lasts two years anyway" - electrical appliances in particular are becoming increasingly short-lived. The EU Commission now wants to take action against this with a new regulation.



"It only lasts two years anyway" - electrical appliances in particular are becoming increasingly short-lived.

The EU Commission now wants to take action against this with a new regulation.

Berlin - In a fast-moving consumer society, the path from retail to the scrap press is often very short.

Rapid wear and tear is pre-programmed for numerous electrical appliances - in the truest sense of the word.

Because it is not only technical and fashionable changes that are causing so-called obsolescence.

The manufacturers themselves are also happy to help.

Products with digital components are most affected.

Inferior parts are deliberately built into televisions, smartphones or washing machines in order to accelerate wear and tear.

However, it is often sufficient to exclude older devices from software updates.

For example, Apple apologized in 2018 after previous criticism for deliberately slowing down older iPhone models by means of a software update.

Environmentalists have been criticizing “planned obsolescence” for years.

Now the EU Commission also wants to take action against it.

When the Iphone suddenly slows down - Planned obsolescence as a business model?

"Obsolescence" and "Planned Obsolescence"

In business and industry, obsolescence refers to the obsolescence of products or knowledge.

It is mostly due to a change in technology and fashion or the low durability of individual technical parts.

Planned obsolescence

” is when a retailer intentionally accelerates or facilitates this process.

The Öko-Institut puts it this way in a study: “In science it is assumed that the product lifespan is generally a predictable quantity that the product developers use as a guide.

The design of the service life is influenced by many factors, such as load, wear and tear, maintenance, changes in technology, trends, fashion and values ​​as well as other external environmental influences. ”Products should last as long as necessary, not as long as possible.

A new regulation of the EU Sale of Goods Directive should help.

It has already been converted into national law in Germany and will finally come into force on January 1, 2022 as the “Act regulating the sale of items with digital elements”.

Digital products are an increasingly important economic factor, especially for cross-border trade, writes the federal government. 

More rights for consumers: EU rules on buying digital devices - that's changing

The law aims to regulate the purchase of digital products more precisely.

Consumers but also natural resources should be protected.

The following aspects are part of the new guideline.

  • Update obligation

    : As the Bundestag explains on its website, the law stipulates, among other things, new "update obligations for sellers of digital devices".

    This is intended to ensure functionality and IT security.

    However, this update requirement is initially limited to two years - a point of criticism for consumer advocates.

  • Material defects and durability

    : Objections can also be made for a longer period of time.

    If a consumer suspects that there was a defect in the purchased product at the time of purchase, he no longer has six months but one year to complain.

    A material defect should then not only apply to defects in usability, but also to a lack of durability.

  • Guarantee

    : The guarantee provisions should also be supplemented.

    In the future, a guarantee declaration must be made available to the consumer on a permanent data carrier - for example in paper form or by email, according to the federal government.

The new draft law was adopted with the votes of the CDU / CSU, SPD and FDP.

Both the Greens and the Left had called for longer deadlines and tougher rules.

(vs)

Source: merkur

All life articles on 2021-08-03

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