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How to fight non-compliant products in retail network?

01/21/2015
 
If a consumer finds a deficiency in the retail network, e.g. an unsafe product (for example mouldy one), a product with expired use by date, misleadingly labelled, unlabelled in Czech or with missing labelling, etc., what is he/she supposed to do? And how is he/she supposed to defend himself/herself?
The seller should be notified at first. In case the consumer does not want or is not able to ensure remedy directly at the seller, he/she can submit a complaint to the local CAFIA Inspectorate, according to the regional competence. The complaint could be submitted in person, in writing or by phone. If the consumer indicates his/her address, he/she will be informed of the result of the inspection by 30 days at the latest.

Consumer finds a deficiency in a retail

Complaint => Suggestion for an inspection => Inspection => Sanction in case a deficiency is detected
The sample submitted by the complaining person serves to focus the inspection only. It cannot be used as a basis for CAFIA legal measures because it is not an official sample.
If the consumer is interested in quality and health unwholesomeness assessment of the submitted sample, such assessment could be carried out on request for financial compensation. The consumer can use any accredited laboratory for food analyses. The list of accredited laboratories is available on the website of the Czech Accreditation Institute – CAI: http://www.cia.cz/en.
Pursuant to the new Civil Code (NCC), thus Act No. 89/2012 Coll., the seller is liable to the buyer that the thing to take over has no defects. Pursuant to Section 2161 Para 1 of the NCC, the seller is liable to the purchaser at the time when the buyer took the thing:
  • the thing is of the properties that the parties negotiated. In the absence of an agreement, such characteristics are described by the manufacturer or seller, or buyer expected given the nature of the goods and the advertising carried out,
  • the thing is suitable for the purpose declared by the seller or to which this kind of thing would normally
  • the thing complies with the agreed quality or design sample or draft, if the quality or performance were determined in accordance with the agreed sample or template,
  • the thing is in the right quantity, measure or weight, and
  • the thing meets the requirements of legislation.
 
Rights following from defective fulfilment are provided for in detail in Sections 2165 to 2174 of the NCC.
CAFIA has no legal power to intervene in a civil relation between seller and purchaser. It is only a court that can decide in the complaint dispute. That means that CAFIA cannot help a consumer in returning his/her money. The consumer has to refer directly to the seller and in case they do not come to an agreement, he/she can refer to a court.