Two-year legal warranty
In Denmark you have a two-year legal warranty if you have bought a product which proves to have a fault.
Special rules apply to consumer purchases in Denmark. A consumer purchase is a purchase which a consumer makes from a trader.
You are a consumer if you are acting mainly for purposes which are outside your area of business. A trader is a party who is acting for purposes relating to his business. If, for example, you as a private person shop in a store, the purchase is a consumer purchase and you are then protected by certain special rules, including the rules on complaining about a product’s lack of conformity.
When you as a consumer in Denmark purchase a product from a company, you always have a two-year legal warranty. The legal warranty means that you have the right to make a complaint to the seller about a fault on your product. The time limit for complaining means that you must make the complaint within the time limit, that is to say within two years. After two years you may no longer make a complaint.
The two-year legal warranty applies regardless of whether you have purchased the product online, in a physical store or via telephone sales and mail order.
You also have a two-year legal warranty regardless of whether the product is new or second-hand.
It is not possible to agree a shorter time limit than two years or for the legal warranty not to apply to all parts of the product.
The legal warranty does not in itself mean that the seller of the product has an obligation to rectify the fault. This will be the case only where the fault – the lack of conformity – was present, or the cause of the fault was present, when the product was delivered.
If you purchased the product from another private individual and the product is less than two years old, there is still a two-year legal warranty if it was originally sold to a consumer by a company in Denmark. You must therefore make sure that you obtain the original receipt when you purchase the product. If there is still a valid guarantee connected to the product, you should also have the guarantee certificate if you wish to make use of the guarantee.
When you purchase goods at an auction, for example online, either the auction company normally acts as the seller of the product or the auction company functions as the broker of the sale.
Since there is a commercial seller or broker, your purchase at the auction will as a rule be a ‘consumer purchase’. This means that as a rule you will have a two-year legal warranty.
If the product proves to be faulty within the first two years after the purchase, you should contact the seller who sold you the product as soon as possible.
If the fault on the product proves to be covered by the rules governing lack of conformity laid down in the Danish Sale of Goods Act, the seller is liable for, for example, having the product repaired or replaced with a new one, or – if the defect is significant – for refunding your money back.
You should be aware that not all faults in the product constitute a defect under the Danish Sale of Goods Act. There is a defect only if the fault or cause thereof was present when you purchased the product.
Further reading is available in the section ‘What solutions must the seller offer if the product has a defect?’
The seller cannot disclaim liability and refer you to the manufacturer or importer itself.
When you discover a fault on the product, you must notify the seller within a reasonable time after you discovered the fault.
It is difficult to say precisely what a ‘reasonable time’ is, but the seller has the option of rejecting your complaint, if you take too long time to notify the seller about it.
If you notify the seller within two months of discovering the fault, you will always have notified within a reasonable period.
If the fault appears 0-6 months after delivery:
If the fault on the product appears within the first six months after delivery, under the Danish Sale of Goods Act there is a ‘presumption’ that the fault or the cause thereof was already present when the product was delivered to you.
The rule is known as ‘the presumption rule’. Therefore, you as a consumer only have to prove that the product has the fault about which you are now making a complaint.
The fault appears 6-24 months after delivery:
If the fault on the product appears more than six months after delivery, you must yourself prove that the fault on the product or the cause thereof was present when the product was delivered to you and that the fault is thus covered by the rules laid down in the Danish Sale of Goods Act.
If the product has a fault for which the seller is liable, you as the purchaser are free to choose between the following solutions free of charge:
- Repairment of the product
- Replacement for a new identical product
- Reduction of the price
If the defect is significant, the purchase may be cancelled.
If the seller offers, for example, to repair the product or replace it, you may not request a price reduction or that the purchase be cancelled. The seller must repair or replace within a reasonable time.
The seller may refuse your request for repairment/replacement if it would be disproportionately expensive or impossible to replace in comparison with repairment.
The seller must repair/replace within a reasonable time
As a rule, the seller may attempt to repair or replace your product only a few times – typically one or two. Furthermore, it must be done within a ‘reasonable time’, which is typically a few weeks.
In some cases, the seller has the right to take longer and make more attempts, for example if there is a periodic fault which only appears occasionally.
If it is not possible to repair or replace the product, you may request another solution, for example a price reduction, or you can cancel the purchase and get your money back.
In Denmark you as a consumer may have your complaint case handled either by the Consumer Complaints Board or an approved appeal board, if you and the seller are unable to find a solution to the problem.
It costs between DKK 0‑500 in complaint fees to have the case handled by a complaints board. Several of the complaints boards make use of expert opinions in their handling of complaint cases. An expert examination is free of charge to you and it is the complaints board which ensures that it is carried out.
If you as a consumer win your complaint case in full or in part at the Consumer Complaints Board or one of the approved, private complaints or appeal boards, the decision is binding on you and the business company, if the business company accepts the decision, or if the business company has not contested the decision 30 days after it received it. If the business company contests the decision, you must bring the case to court to have your claim enforced. You can have the costs of the case covered by the Boards House (Nævnenes Hus) if they are not covered by your own private insurance.
If there is a fault on the product, and you and the seller are unable to agree on a solution to the problem, you may proceed with a complaint case.
In Denmark there is a consumer complaints system which consists of "the Centre for Complaint Resolution and the Consumer Complaints Board". They handle complaints in a large number of areas where there is no approved appeal board and are the primary complaints bodies for the purchase of products.
In addition, there are a number of approved appeal boards and statutory complaint boards which aim to assist consumers in their respective areas. Each individual complaints board has its own rules and procedures. It is normally faster and cheaper to use them than to go to court. If you are uncertain as to which board covers your complaint, you can contact the Centre for Complaint Resolution at the Boards House for assistance.
- The Disciplinary Board
- Appeals Board for Cars
- Appeals Board for Bus, Train and Metro (Danish only)
- Board of Appeal for Holiday Homes
- The Complaint Board of Danish Securities and Brokerings Companies
- The Insurance Complaints Board
- Appeals Board for Hotels, Restaurants and Tourism (Danish only)
- Appeals Board for Driving Instruction (Danish only)
- Appeals Board for Technical Installations (Danish only)
- Appeals Board for the Energy Sector (Danish only)
- The Resident's Complaint Board
- Construction Industry Appeals Board
- The Danish Financial Complaint Board
- The Disciplinary and Complaints Board for Appointed Building Experts
- Danish Road Traffic Authority (vehicle inspection)
- The Housing Rental Board
- Craft Sector Appeals Board (Danish only)
- Property Brokerage Appeals Board (Danish only)
- Package Travel Appeals Board (Danish only)
- Parking Appeals Board (Danish only)
- The Danish Maritime Authority
- The Telecommunications Complaint Board
- The Danish Civil Aviation and Railway Authority (air passengers)
- The Danish Civil Aviation and Railway Authority (Post)
If you have purchased a product or a service from a seller in another EU country, and problems arise with your purchase, you can contact the European Consumer Centre Denmark for advice and guidance on your rights or for assistance with a particular complaint case. The European Consumer Centre Denmark is part of a European network (European Consumer Centres Network, ECC-Net) with offices in each EU country and in Norway, Iceland and the UK.
You can also submit a complaint about online purchases from companies in other EU countries via the European online complaints portal (ODR platform). On the complaints portal you can make a complaint and find information on your complaint options in one of the 24 official languages of the EU. If you are uncertain how to use the ODR platform, you can contact the European Consumer Centre Denmark.