I bought a machine for my business, unfortunately this machine developed a fault, can I lodge a complaint with the ECC?

In this case the ECC will not be able to intervene. The ECC deals with consumer to business transactions. A consumer is by definition a person acting outside his trade, business or profession. In this case the matter is to be dealt with privately or one may also consider taking legal action.

I bought a smart phone from China but it developed a defect after only a few months, I have contacted the seller but he refused to provide a remedy. Can I lodge a complaint with the ECC?

The ECC deals with complaints against businesses situated in the EU Member States, Norway and Iceland. If you have a complaint against a business situated outside the EU, Norway or Iceland you may wish to log on into the website www.econsumer.gov

I was browsing through an online intermediary site to buy a laptop and I decided to make a purchase from a private individual. The laptop stopped functioning after a year. What are my rights?

Buying from a private individual will reduce your rights considerably, since in such circumstances both the seller and the buyer will be acting in a private capacity and therefore the transaction will not be regulated by consumer legislation.

I bought a second hand car from a seller in the UK through the internet. When I started driving the car in Malta it developed a fault. What can I do in the circumstances?

Whilst the remedy in this case depends a lot on what the fault is, in according with EU consumer legislation the quality and performance of the goods sold must be satisfactory, given the nature of the goods and taking into account the statements made about them by the seller or his representative. Therefore if the car developed a fault which you could not have noticed at the time of purchase given the statements made about the car by the seller you are entitled to a remedy. Thus you must first contact the seller to agree on the way how the fault will be repaired, example whether you can take the car to a local approved mechanic by the seller to carry on the repairs.

I would like to return a dress I bought online because I found a better one on another site. Can I return it without incurring any costs?

Buying through one of the distance means of communications, such as when you buy online gives you the right to return the goods bought within 14 days from when you receive the goods without giving any reason. However, the seller may request you to incur the shipping costs.

Can I return a product that I purchased in store?

No. The right of withdrawal applies only for distance purchases such as online purchases. However whilst the seller have no legal obligations to accept returned goods and give a reimbursement, it may be possible that the store’s policy allows for this possibility. The seller may accept to give you back your money for returning the goods or to give you a credit note or a voucher.

Can I return a pair of spectacles that I ordered from the UK to the seller?

Keep in mind that the right of withdrawal does not apply to goods made according to the requirements and specifications supplied to the seller by the consumer, otherwise known as custom made goods.

When I was on holiday in Italy, I bought a camera. It doesn’t work anymore. What are my rights?

Goods purchased must be in conformity with the contract of sale and the product needs also to be fit for the purpose for which products of the same type are normally used. Therefore, when there is lack of conformity the consumer is entitled to have the product brought back into conformity free of charge either by repair or replacement within a reasonable time and with the least inconvenience to the consumer. The seller is liable for any lack of conformity within two years from the date of delivery.

After contacting the seller informing him that the product I purchased was not working, he offered to repair it. I would like a replacement with a new one. Can I request this from the seller?

The seller may first offer to repair the product and you will be entitled to a replacement if repair of the product is not possible or if it will cause you as a consumer a lot of inconvenience. You may also be entitled to a refund if repair or replacement is not possible or in some circumstances to choose an appropriate reduction of the price.

I was coming back from Spain and my flight was cancelled and had to leave the day after. Can I claim compensation?

Yes. When your flight is cancelled you are entitled to compensation which is calculated according to the distance of your flight. This right of compensation is in addition to the right to care by the airline if you are waiting for alternative transport to the final destination or to the right to claim a refund of the unused portion of the ticket.

My flight was delayed considerably due to very bad weather. Can I claim compensation?

The right to compensation does not arise if the flight is delayed for more than 3 hours or cancelled due to ‘extraordinary circumstances’, that is, circumstances which are beyond the airline’s control.

When I arrived in Germany I found that my luggage did not arrive, it only arrived 2 days later. I had to buy extra clothes and necessities. What am I entitled to from the airline?

You are entitled to claim from the airline the expenses incurred for purchasing the required needs. It is important that you retain all the receipts and that you make a claim in writing to the airline within 21 days from when the luggage arrived.