Consumer Rights

The Digital Content Directive (Directive (EU) 2019/770 of the European Parliament and of the Council) regulates certain aspects concerning contracts for the supply of digital content and digital services. Digital content refers to data produced and supplied in digital form including eBooks, apps, music and games in digital form. Digital service refers to a service that allows the customer to create, process store or access data in digital form or a service allowing the sharing of any other interaction with data in digital form uploaded or created by the consumer or other users of that service.
The abovementioned directive provides that the digital content or digital service purchased must be in accordance with the sales contract provided to consumers. If a non-conformity is present at the time of sale or arises within two years of supply, the trader must provide a free remedy, failing which, consumers may claim a partial or full refund. The right to a full refund does not apply if the fault does not affect the functionality, interoperability or the main performance of the digital content or service. In case of non-delivery of the digital content or service purchased, consumers have a right to terminate the contract and be refunded by not later than fourteen days from when the trader receives the termination notice. Furthermore, the consumer also has the right to terminate the sales contract in those cases whereby, upon purchase, s/hewould have provided personal data in exchange for the supply of digital contents or services. In such cases, the trader must provide the consumer with the technical means to retrieve the data at no cost, provided that such data would have been retained by the trader. Moreover, the directive protects consumers who purchase subscriptions for digital content, such as subscriptions to watch films or television series. The terms of such subscriptions may only be changed if modifications are allowed in the contract, and consumers must be informed of such changes in advance and allowed to terminate the contract within at least thirty days of being notified of such changes.
The trader is responsible to prove that the defect did not exist at the time of sale, or in case of contracts for a continuous supply of digital content or services, in case of an alleged defect, the burden of proof remains with the trader throughout the duration of the contract. On the other hand,the directive provides that consumers have to prove that the digital content or service is not in conformity with the sales contract and that such lack of conformity existed at the time of supply of the digital content or digital service where the contract provides for a single act of supply or a series of individual acts of supply or, where the contract provides for continuous supply over a period of time, for the duration of the contract.
These new rules shall be applicable as from January 2022.

The Firm can assist with consumer law related matters including the filing of consumer claims before the tribunal.

 

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