Bought a ‘lemon’ online? What are your legal options?

Bought a 'lemon' online? What are your legal options?: discover what only the top, expert litigation lawyer in Spain know about bought a 'lemon' online? what are your legal options?

consumerlawspain

Products bought from a company

The legislation that governs all of these types of transactions  -whether a new or second-hand product is purchased – is contained in Real Decreto Legislativo 1/2007 – Ley General para la Defensa de los Consumidores y Usuarios  (Consumer Protection Act).

Goods bought from a commercial enterprise must conform to their description or any demonstration of the product carried-out by the seller, be apt for the use typically associated with a product of it’s type and be capable of performing any particular function that the buyer has drawn attention to and which the seller has confirmed that the product is capable of performing.

If any of the above circumstances apply, the buyer may demand a repair of the item, substitution, a lowering of the price or the return of their money. Normally the return of the purchase monies would be appropriate when none of the other remedies can be offered or are not done so in a reasonable period of time. A return of money may not be appropriate for truly minor deviations from the description or performance of the product.

Products bought from another individual

In the case of a product purchased from an individual, then the Spanish Civil Code is where the governing law is to be found since the law does not consider the transaction to be carried-out by a consumer, but rather to be a transaction between to equal individuals. It should be noted however, in the case of a professional seller, the matter may be dealt with by the Consumer Protection Act.

This means that should there be any complaint relating to a product purchased second-hand from another individual, it must be made within six months from the date of purchase.

In addition, the remedies available are reduced to either product repair or reduction in price/return of the purchase monies i.e. the purchaser may not demand substitution.

Hidden Defects

It is often the case that many of the problems that arise in relation to these transactions is a result of some ‘hidden defect’ which affects the value or use of the product. Should a product with a hidden-defect be purchased in good faith by a purchaser who was unaware of it, then a remedy will exist.

The defect should not be apparent on a simple viewing of the product, and this defect should be sufficient to make the use of the product inappropriate for it’s intended use or reduce it’s value to the purchaser in such a way that the buyer would not have bought it if aware of the defect or would have offered less money.

The Civil Code provides that the seller will not be liable if the defect was manifest i.e. obvious or if the buyer happens to be an expert who ought to be aware of such defects Of course it must be possible to demonstrate that the defect occurred before the transaction took place.

Should the seller be shown to have been aware of the defect in the product yet not made the buyer aware, then in addition to a return of money/reduction in the purchase price the buyer may claim damages.

Finally, it is important to reiterate that the time limit for bringing an action under this area of the Civil Code is six months from the date of purchase.

Related Services

33 Lawyers Offering General Litigation Services in Spain

Testimonials for our General Litigation service
  • Mike and Olivia Ashmore
    Mike and Olivia Ashmore

    Rafael was extremely professional when we approached him in a complete panic over a burofax we received in Spanish from a neighbour. He knew exactly what we should do.


    He diffused the situation with his knowledge of the law in Spain. The information has been left on file with him should we ever need to refer back in the future.


    Kindest regards

    Michael and Olivia Ashmore

    Mar 20, 2020
  • Andy Docksey
    Andy Docksey, La Cala de Mijas

    Alvaro is very professional, he is very polite and helpful, he responds very quickly and I would definitely use his service again and recommend him to others.


    Jul 08, 2019
  • Dane Beddall
    Dane Beddall, Palma de Mallorca

    Rosa was very professional and gave good advice, it was nice to meet such a nice lady.


    Apr 10, 2019