You bought a washing machine that broke down after two months of use... The wardrobe delivered to you is not exactly the same size as the one you ordered...

In such cases, the legal guarantee applies, as set out in the Law of 1 September 2004 on the protection of consumers for the sale of consumer goods.

What Are Your Rights as a Consumer?

You are entitled to the legal guarantee when you buy consumer goods - the seller must give a guarantee for any lack of conformity in the goods that appears within two years of purchase.

For second-hand goods, a period of less than two years may be agreed, but not less than one year.

This guarantee applies to all consumer goods sold by a trader to a consumer acting for private purposes. It does not extend to real estate.

Who Do You Need to Contact?

You must contact the final seller and inform him of any lack of conformity of the consumer goods (non-conformity, lack of qualities you can reasonably expect, breakdowns, etc.).

Sample Letters

14 letter templates are available; they may be adapted to your problem and may help you to resolve it.

Disputes and Complaints

Breaches of the Legislation

Compliance with the application of the guarantee legislation is monitored by the Directorate General of the Economic Inspectorate. You can report any illegal or unfair commercial practice to this body at:

Settle Your Dispute Amicably

The Consumer Mediation Service can help you with this. To use this service, you must have first tried to reach an amicable agreement (in writing) with the company.

Consumer Mediation Service
North Gate II
Boulevard du Roi Albert II 8 bte 1
1000 Brussels

Tel.: +32 2 702 52 20
Fax: +32 2 808 71 29

The Consumer Mediation Service provides various online complaint forms.

Cross-border disputes and complaints

The European Consumer Centre has a service providing advice and assistance to consumers in the event of a dispute with a company established in another Member State of the European Union, Norway or Iceland.

European Consumer Centre
Rue de Hollande 13
1060 Brussels

Tel.: +32 2 542 33 89
Fax: +32 2 542 32 43

Last update
14 March 2024