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Your rights in case of defect productsDirective 1999/44/EC on the sale of consumer goods and associated guarantees has been implemented by Finland in the Finnish Consumer Protection Act.
The Act defines in general terms what a defect in a product is and the remedies the consumer is entitled to. Goods shall i.e. correspond to what can be deemed to have been agreed between the seller and the buyer in type, quantity, quality, other characteristics and packaging, and to what the Act further prescribes. A defect exists, for instance where the product has a manufacturing defect, is not suitable for its intended use, does not conform to the information given about it beforehand, lasts for a shorter period than can be reasonably expected or insufficient instructions for its use and care are given.
A defect shall be presumed to have existed at the time of delivery, if it appears within six months of the time of delivery, unless proved otherwise or unless this presumption is contrary to the nature of the product (e.g. the normal life-span of product is less than six months), or to the nature of the defect (e.g. wear and tear, due to mishandling). After this period the seller still remains liable for defects, but it is then up to the consumer to prove that the defect existed at the time of delivery, unless the product has a voluntary guarantee.
If the goods do not conform to what the Act prescribes, they are defective and the consumer is entitled to a remedy. As a remedy, the consumer is entitled to ask defective goods to be repaired or replaced free of charge, within a reasonable period and without essential inconvenience. Discount in price or rescission of contract are also possible remedies. In addition the consumer may be entitled to damages incurred due to the defect.
Voluntary guarantees given by a producer or a seller do not curtail the statutory rights of consumers, quite on the contrary: in order to be able to call a commitment a guarantee, the consumer should be given something more than is his right by law.
It is to be noted that in Finland no time limit has been specified for the trader's period of statutory liability and with normal use a product should last its expected life-span. It is perfectly possible therefore that the seller's statutory liability may continue even after a guarantee has expired. The nearer to the date of sale and the longer the expected life of the product, the more likely is that the seller must at least participate in the repair costs, as the normal abrasion will be very small.
ExchangeUnless goods are faulty, a consumer does not have a legal right to an exchange. It is at the trader’s discretion. Therefore it is important to verify before buying, if the trader allows an exchange.
PricingThe Finnish currency is the euro.
A price must be displayed in a clear, unambiguous, and noticeable manner. Displayed goods must have a marking on unit price and sales price.
Both the final price and the unit price have to be displayed, unless they are the same. (Certain exceptions apply).
The consumer cannot insist on getting the item for the same price as indicated on the price tag. Therefore it is advisable to ask at the cash point before paying. However, this is under review.
VAT is included in the price.
The trader is not obliged to issue a receipt to the consumer, although they usually do.
TaxOn most goods and services a 22% value added tax -VAT (arvonlisävero – ALV) is charged in Finland.
The VAT on food is 17%.
The VAT on books, medicine, sports, cultural events, cinema, personal transport, accommodation and TV- licences is 8%.
Methods of paymentThe most common methods of payment in Finland are cash, credit cards, and debit cards, while cheques are no longer common.
When paying by credit card for relatively expensive products, consumers may have to show identity card.
SalesTypical sales periods are January and July.
Shops’ general opening hours are:
Monday – Friday: 07:00 - 21:00
Saturday: 07:00 - 18:00
Sunday: 12:00 – 21:00 (only grocery stores of maximum 400² in size)
Kiosks, grocery stores in sparsely populated areas, flower shops, car showrooms and chemists have free opening times.
Banks’ general opening hours are:Monday – Friday: 09:00 / 09:30 - 16:30
Saturday & Sunday: closed
Post Offices’ general opening hours are:Monday – Friday: 09:00 - 18:00
In the cities post offices often stay open later and even on weekends.
DepositThere is a deposit on bottles and cans. Depending on the size and the material of the bottle the deposit is 0,10 – 0,40€. The deposit on cans is currently 0,15€.
Tourist informationTourist information can be found via the following links to official websites for tourism and travel:
Status: August 2004
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I - 39100 Bolzano
tel.: ++39 0471 980939
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